Resource Sharing

Resource sharing is when libraries lend their materials to other libraries and borrow materials from other libraries for their users. Mossey Library engages in 2 different systems for resource sharing: MeLCat, which is a Michigan only network for physical materials, and interlibrary loan, which is a global network for any materials needed, including physical and digital.

MeLCat and Interlibrary Loan

If an item is needed that is not held at Mossey Library, Hillsdale College students, faculty and staff may borrow materials from other libraries via our MeLCat and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services. Millions of books and other materials are available from thousands of libraries throughout Michigan, the United States and around the world. Links to MeLCat are provided in the catalog, and more information on using both services can be found below.

Need Help?

You may call the interlibrary loan office (517-607-2407) or email hcill@hillsdale.edu. Also, feel free to stop at the interlibrary loan office, Monday - Friday from 8 am until 4 pm.

MeLCat and Interlibrary Loan FAQs

What is MeLCat?
What is Interlibrary Loan?
When do I use MeLCat and when do I use Interlibrary Loan?
How do I request materials?
How long does it take for materials to arrive?
How will I know when materials arrive and where do I pick them up?
How long may I keep the materials?
How do I renew these materials?
Who may use these services?
What kinds of materials may I request?
Is there a limit on how many items I can order?
How much do these services cost?
What are the fines for overdue materials?

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What is MeLCat?

MeLCat is the state of Michigan's virtual library catalog. Over 400 Michigan libraries have pooled their catalogs to create a statewide system where users of one library can request and borrow items from another. Academic, public, school, and other libraries participate in MeLCat. Feel free to view the participating libraries.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan is a cooperative system similar to MeLCat, but it involves libraries on a national and global scale. Items unavailable through Mossey Library or MeLCat may be obtained through the interlibrary loan form.

When do I use MeLCat and when do I use Interlibrary Loan?

Always check our resources first. If we do not have a book or AV item, use MeLCat. If we do not have an article, or other items are not available through MeLCat, then use interlibrary loan.

How do I request materials?

MeL items may be requested directly from MeLCat. Interlibrary loan items must be requested by filling out a form or through the library's catalog or databases. 

How long does it take for materials to arrive?

MeL items generally arrive within 1-2 weeks. Interlibrary loan items generally come with 1-3 weeks, though the delivery time varies based upon the item type and location. Articles generally arrive within the week, but books and other materials may take longer, as they are coming through the mail system. When using either MeL or interlibrary loan, conduct your research at least three weeks in advance to give yourself enough time to receive and use your requested materials.

How will I know when materials arrive and where may I pick them up?

You will receive an email notice when your items arrive, and you may pick them up at the circulation desk.

How long may I keep the materials?

MeL items check out for four weeks with one four week renewal, but  some AV materials are restricted to one week with no renewals. The due dates for interlibrary loan items depend on the lending library, and vary from 3-16 weeks. When you pick up the book, a date due slip will be attached to the book. Do not remove the book band. You can also check your library account online to keep track of books borrowed from other libraries.

How do I renew these materials?

In most cases you may renew MeL or interlibrary loan materials one time. To renew MeL items, simply log onto your library account, select the appropriate items, and click renew. For interlibrary loan items, call (ext. 2407), email, or stop by the interlibrary loan office about one week before the due date and we will attempt to renew the items. Interlibrary loan items that are not available for renewal will be labeled as such.

Who may use these services?

All Hillsdale College  faculty, staff, and students who are currently enrolled may use MeLCat and interlibrary loan services, as well as teachers and high school students at Hillsdale Academy. Persons who have been blocked because of fines, overdue books, or other circumstances will be blocked from using MeLCat or interlibrary loan services until all accounts have been cleared.

What kind of materials may I request?

Please request anything you need. We will try to fill all of your requests, though it may be more difficult to obtain fragile and rare books, audiovisual items, microforms, dissertations, reference books,  books recently acquired, bound periodicals, and pre-publication articles.

Is there a limit on how many items I can order?

You may have 70 MeL items on hold at one time. For interlibrary loan, there is currently no limit. We do ask, however, that you use this service judiciously.

How much do these services cost?

There is no charge for these services. You are responsible for replacement costs for lost or damaged items and for overdue items.  

What are the fines for overdue materials?

Mossey Library is a fine free library. Items that are overdue by 21 days, however, incur a processing fee of $25 and a replacement fee of $75, for a total of $100. If the book is returned after that, the $75 replacement fee will be dropped, but the processing fee will remain.

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