University Library

Interlibrary Loan FAQs

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions.

What is interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary loan is a service that makes it possible for you to order literature that is not available at the library of TU Berlin or UdK Berlin. You only need a valid library card of TU Berlin or UdK Berlin.

(Legal basis for interlibrary loans is the German Leihverkehrsordnung.)

How much does an interlibrary loan cost?

Staff of TU Berlin or UdK Berlin: free

Students of TU Berlin or UdK Berlin: none until 31.03.2023

All others: 1.50 € per submitted request

Please bear in mind that this is a processing fee. Additional costs of up to 8 € (e.g. for a large number of copies) are approved by default. If you do NOT want to pay additional costs or want to set a different limit, please change the preset amount in the order form!

Loss of the letter accompanying the interlibrary loan materials will result in a 5 € fee.

How do I place an interlibrary loan request?

We have detailed instructions for interlibrary loan requests of books and journal articles.

My interlibrary loan request is rejected by the ordering system even though the item I requested is “missing/lost/Inst.-Bestand” according to the library catalogue. How can I place an interlibrary loan request in spite of that?

Please contact us per email at fernleihe(at)

What happens after I have placed my request?

Once your request has been placed, the ordering system automatically generates a list of possible lending libraries. If the first library on the list cannot supply the desired item, the request is passed on to the next library until the order can be fulfilled. As soon as the item arrives at TU Berlin, you will be notified. If the request cannot be fulfilled, e.g. because the item is currently on loan or not available for lending, you will be notified as well.

How long does it take to get materials through interlibrary loan?

We can only estimate delivery times for interlibrary loans because many different factors (book is already borrowed, book not available for lending, journals at the bookbinder …) influence the delivery time. In general, it takes

  •  2 – 6 weeks for a book.
  • approx. 14 days for a journal article if it can be processed automatically. Failing this, the request has to be redone manually by the members of our team, which takes significantly longer.

Can a submitted interlibrary loan request be cancelled?

Unfortunately it’s not possible to do this directly. If you wish to cancel a request, please send an email. 

Where can I check the status of my request?

You can find a list of your interlibrary loan requests in your personal library account.

If you have already picked up the requested item, its due date can be found under “Loans”. You can check the status of your request under “Reserves/Requests”:

  • “Sent to Supplier”: The request has been forwarded to a library, which hasn’t answered or delivered yet, or the request has been passed on to another library.
  • “Shipped”: The lending library has confirmed the request and mailed the item.
  • “Received”: Your interlibrary loan is available for pickup.
  • “Waiting for Patron Response”: We have sent you a question concerning your request and are waiting for your answer.
  • “Loaned to Patron”: You have borrowed the item.

As soon as a copy of a journal article has been mailed to you, the request is fulfilled and disappears from your account.

How do I know when my interlibrary loan request is ready for pickup?

As soon as your request is ready for pickup or inspection, you will receive a message by email.

Copies of journal articles will be mailed to your home address. TU staff will receive their copies at their in-house office address.

What materials are not available through interlibrary loan?

Regulations for interlibrary loans in Germany are governed by the Leihverkehrsordnung. Among other things, it determines which items cannot be supplied through interlibrary loans. These include:

  • Literature available at the requesting library. Items that are available at TU Berlin are therefore automatically rejected by the ordering system.
  • Electronic resources like e-books and e-journals (both as a whole and partially)
  • Literature from the current year often is not available for interlibrary loans.
  • Inexpensive items that are available for purchase. At the moment, the limit is set at 15 €.
  • Valuable works, especially literature published before 1900. In most of these cases, copies or microfilms can be made on demand.
  • Loose-leaf publications and unbound journals
  • Books in a bad state of preservation
  • Master’s and diploma theses
  • CDs and DVDs, especially musical recordings and movies

Are there any restrictions placed on the use of the items requested via interlibrary loan?

The lending library can place certain restrictions on their items, e.g. confining their use to the reading room or forbid making copies. The university library of TU Berlin is required to enforce these restrictions. Please understand that we can make no exceptions.

What is the loan period for interlibrary loan materials?

The loan period is determined by the lending library and therefore varies, but it is usually 30 days. In some cases, e.g. journals or literature that is much in demand, the loan period can be shortened to one week. Renewals are not possible.

Where do I return the borrowed items?

You can return interlibrary loan materials at the circulation desk in the Central Library.

Is international interlibrary loan also possible?

Books or journals that are only available in libraries abroad can be obtained through international interlibrary loan. Depending on the country, there are different delivery costs and longer delivery times (sometimes up to several months). In such cases, please contact the Interlibrary Loan team by email.


The item I want cannot be obtained (or not fast enough) through an interlibrary loan. What other possibilities are there?

For materials that are not available through interlibrary loan but are available for purchase, you can make a book purchase suggestion.

Very urgent requests might be fulfilled faster through our Express Document Delivery Service or through a commercial delivery service. Please note that you would need to make use of these external delivery services as a private individual. Orders and payment are not conducted through the university library of TU Berlin.

What should I do if I have questions or problems?

If you have problems with an interlibrary loan request or if you want to check on the status of your request, please contact the interlibrary loan team by email.

Michael Berger+49 30 314-76022
Michael Strauss+49 30 314-76026

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