Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: Jul 09, 2024     Views: 13

Unfortunately, we cannot usually ILL an entire ebook version or streaming version (an "electronic" version, in other words) of a title because libraries cannot typically loan out passwords to databases where their electronic content is hosted due to their license agreements with the vendor (their access/passwords are for their users, as defined by their contract(s)). 

Also, an entire hardcopy film (such as a DVD) cannot be converted (screen captured or ripped, for example) to send as a file via ILL nor can an entire print book be scanned and sent as an "ebook" typically, due to copyright. However, a portion of a book may be scanned (see link below). Our library follows CONTU guidelines, which means we will only process up to 5 total requests (ie copies of a section) for our entire college from any one (1) title published (serials or books) in the last 5 years. Older material will not be added to our accumulative 5. Most libraries will not copy an entire book if a print version can be sent instead, as this weighs less in favor of fair use or other exemptions. Articles from serial publications are therefore interpreted to be sections of a whole (journal, magazine, etc.), so an entire article can be sent.

What is more, many born-digital titles (ebooks or audiobooks or videos, for example, produced only as electronic formats online without print or hardcopy versions) are not likely to even be owned or licensed by libraries because those platforms (like Audible or Kindle or Netflix) don't offer institutional subscriptions. Born-digital can mean it was published only to be accessed on that platform by individual subscription holders, to drive subscriptions to that platform. Because many subscription services only offer individual subscriptions and not institutional, this means no library can purchase or offer the title in any way -- not even to their own users. And yes, this affects the ability of archives and libraries to preserve the material! It's a huge issue that affects our preservation and access to culture and history. For more context on how this affects you, see the DMCA box here.

Sometimes ebook vendors allow portions to be downloaded from ebooks, but there is no great way for the system to know what kind of downloading is allowed on all the various platforms and potential license agreements, only which libraries claim to hold which titles. It is likely there is Digital Rights Management (or DRM) on an ebook that doesn't allow for an entire ebook to be downloaded as a shareable file. Thus, it is more guaranteed for us to request a scan from print material). 

If an ebook is Open Access, it is probably something you can access on your own apart from using ILL. If you are not sure, you can attempt an ILL of an item, and the librarian handling the request will investigate for you!

Read below for how to get the Interlibrary Loan button to populate in the catalog if you have found an ebook or electronic version of an item, but want to request the print version instead. 

If you do a Discovery Catalog search and find an electronic item that TCC does not have access to, you might not be presented with the blue button for an ILL request because it wants you to place requests only for only the print/hardcopy versions - even if only requesting a copy of a portion from the title, this might be the only option.  

This is what the blue interlibrary loan button looks like: 

Here is an example of an ebook that TCC did not hold and could not ILL for you unless you choose print. By clicking on "Editions & Formats" you can choose a print copy that we might be able to ILL for you. Notice there is no blue "Interlibrary Loan" button option attached to the ebook edition: 

No ILL buttion

Choose a print edition under the "Explore Editions & Formats" tab toward the bottom of the availability area (typically the more libraries that hold ("Held by") a print version means there are better odds the TCC Library can get it for you): 

Once you select the hyperlinked title and go to the other edition result, you are then presented with the option to ILL a print copy or request copies be made from the book

Please see the links below or contact us if you still have issues placing your request.