General Procedures

Which items can I request?

You can request literature not held in the University of Mainz' collection.

Which items can I not request?

Literature which is available in one of the University of Mainz departmental or decentralized libraries cannot be requested on inter-library loan.

The following may also be excluded from delivery:

  • Very valuable items
  • Items that are in poor condition
  • Items of an unusual format
  • Loose-leaf publications and unbound periodicals
  • Diploma, Magister and examination theses
  • Items of a non-book format, where their condition means that they could be damaged during delivery
  • Reading room and reference library collections
  • Items that are used a lot at the granting library, especially items from textbook collections
  • Items available at a low price from retailers

What does an inter-library loan request cost?

There is a charge of 1.50€ for each inter-library loan request. Usually, this covers the delivery of a book or a copy of an article of up to 20 pages.

After making the request, the fee is automatically debited from your inter-library loan fee account, regardless of whether the request is successfully completed or not.

In addition there may be further charges, e.g. if an article requested has more than 20 pages or if you request films, value insurance, overseas inter-library loans, etc. For these extra costs we will require a written declaration of consent from you.

Where and how do I place a request?

Before submitting a request for an inter-library loan, please check in the online catalog to see whether the item you are looking for is available at the University Library Mainz. For more information, please refer to the notes on using our catalogs (German version).

In order to request an inter-library loan, you will need an inter-library loan account in addition to your library ID card. After setting up this account, you can request inter-library loans via the catalog portal.

How long does it take to obtain the items requested on inter-library loan?

On average, the inter-library loan request takes ca. two weeks.

You should therefore check that such a delivery time is reasonable in terms of your work schedule. There are faster document delivery services (German version) available, which will however generally cost more.

Unfortunately, we do not have any influence on the processing of your inter-library loan request outside of our library.

How will I know when the literature I have requested has arrived?

You will be notified by e-mail as soon as the returnable items you have requested arrive. If you are not sure whether we have your correct, up-to-date e-mail address, please check this for yourself in the online catalog (German version) under
"User Account" > "Particulars" > "E-mail Address: Display and Change"
and, if necessary, change the entry.

Only those users whose e-mail addresses we do not know will be informed by mail about the arrival of returnable inter-library loans.

You will not be notified about the arrival of articles from books and journals you have requested (non-returnable copies). Instead, please inquire about the copies at the lending desk at the Central Library, Specialized Library for Medicine or the Departmental Library for Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry about two weeks after submitting your request.

When coming to pick up the items, please bring your library ID card with you.

How long can I keep books requested on inter-library loan?

For books and journal volumes, the lending period is usually four weeks. Please look at the lending period slip attached to the item.

The items can be returned to the lending desks at the Central Library, the Specialized Library for Medicine (FBM) and the Departmental Library for Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry (PMC). If the lending period has been exceeded, late fees will be charged, regardless of whether a warning was given or not. These amount to 1€ per book per week from expiry of the lending period.

Copies of journal articles become the property of the library user who requested them.

Can the lending period for books borrowed on inter-library loan be extended?

If you wish to keep a book beyond the return date specified, you can usually extend the lending period in the online catalog by going to "User Account" > "Items Borrowed". The only precondition here is that the granting library has not excluded such an extension from the beginning.

International inter-library loans

Library users may use the international inter-library loans service if they are searching for foreign literature not indexed in German libraries. If such items can be located, users can expect to pay a fee of at least 15€ for the books delivered. The cost for copies depends on the particulars of the delivery in question. In such cases, please speak to the staff at the general information desk in the Central Library.

Alternatives to inter-library loans

By using document delivery services (German version), you can request books and journal articles for ultra-fast delivery. However, this incurs higher charges (at least 6.50€ per article). If requested, our OLiVer service can, for a fee, place requests on your behalf via a document delivery service.