InterLibrary Loan Policy

Interlibrary Loan is the process of sharing resources between libraries. If the KFUPM Library does not own a book, journal, or any other material needed by our primary users, the Library may obtain it from another library.

Policy statement

The King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals Libraries (KFUPM) Library Interlibrary Loan policies are generally based on the ILL Code of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS), American Library Association (ALA), International Federation of Library Associations, and Institutions (IFLA) and the most current International Copyright laws and the spirit of the Fair Use of materials. Interlibrary lending is essential to the vitality of the KFUPM Library with the purpose to obtain library materials not readily available in the Library. The service is a vital adjunct to, but not a substitute for collection development.

Definition of ILL

Interlibrary Loan is the process of sharing resources between libraries. If the KFUPM Library does not own a book, journal, or any other material needed by our primary users, the Library may obtain it from another library. While this service is provided at a cost to the KFUPM Library, it is provided free of charge to the primary users.

Document Delivery supplements ILL operations for journal articles by enabling the Library to quickly obtain them from commercial vendors and other participating libraries in the ILL network.

Interlibrary Borrowing

Who may request

Interlibrary loan and document delivery services are available for teaching and research to the KFUPM community of users in the following categories:

  • Academic Staff (all types of faculty)
  • Graduate Students
  • Technical Staff
  • Administrative Staff (for items related to their official work)
  1. Undergraduates can submit ILL requests for their senior projects/coop reports/term projects up to a maximum of 2 requests per year.
  2. As per the established practice the Library does not process ILL requests for the KFUPM Research Institute staff. They are expected to submit their ILL requests to the Technical Information Center of the RI.
  3. Walk-in and other non-KFUPM users are not eligible for ILL services with the exception of the Girls College students, Dammam, who can submit their ILL requests to the Library. However, the requester will be charged the cost of the ILL plus SR. 25 per request as a processing fee.  

Borrowing Limitations

  • The number of ILL requests allowed per user category per Academic Year is as given in the table at the end. 
  • In special cases, the Manager, RIS may extend the limit by 5 requests per semester. The Dean of Library Affairs has the discretion of extending the limit further. 

What can be requested?

  • Books, reports, conference proceedings.
  • Photocopies of specific journal articles, chapters of books, reports and conference proceedings, etc.
  • Patents
  • Standards
  • Theses & Dissertations

Generally, lending libraries will not supply:

  • Entire issue or volume of a journal
  • Reference books, rare books
  • Theses and dissertations (usually they are available for purchase either from the institutions or UMI).

Materials that will not be requested

  • Materials owned by the KFUPM Library
  • Materials owned by the KFUPM Library but checked-out

Initiating an ILL Request

  1. It is mandatory for patrons to carefully check the KFUPM Library Online catalog, ( for the availability of the item before submitting the request. In case of doubt, they may contact the Reference Desk for assistance.
  2. Users are required to submit the request on the prescribed ILL online form available on the KFUPM Library website at The requester should provide the necessary details about the requested item. Missing or incorrect information may cause unnecessary delay in fulfilling the request. In some cases, the lending library or institution may levy a searching charge for incomplete or incorrect information.
  3. The KFUPM Library has arrangements with some lending institutions for secured electronic delivery of items within 4 to 24 hours. If an item is needed urgently may be requested through "Rush Request Service". However, the request has to be approved by the Dean of Library Affairs.

Time Required & Notification

  • Requests are processed and sent in the order they are received (usually no later than in 2 working days). Five requests will be processed per patron per day. Additional requests from the same patron will be processed according to the workload of waiting requests. An e-mail acknowledgment will be sent to the user.
  • In cases where the requester has provided a date after which the material is no longer needed, every effort is made to meet the deadline.
  • The time taken to fulfill an ILL request depends on many factors. Normally it takes between 8 to 20 days.
  1. Three attempts shall be made to locate the requested material. After the third attempt, the requester shall be informed that the Library has not been able to obtain the material, but will continue trying if the user can wait further. Two additional attempts shall be made before closing the request.
  2. The requester will be notified of the arrival of the material by telephone or e-mail. Photocopies are normally mailed to users and are not to be returned.

Loan Period

  • While photocopies are to be kept by users, the loan period for books, microforms, and other materials is determined by the lending library and may vary from two to four weeks. Patrons are required to abide by any restrictions stipulated by the lending library.
  • Patrons returning the loaned item after the due date will be liable to pay overdue fines imposed by the lending library. Normally, this fine is 1-2 US dollars per item per day.

Unclaimed items

Since loan items cost a lot of money and staff time, the following procedure will be followed if ILL materials are not claimed:

  • An email will be sent to the requester to inform him that the material has not been claimed and request him to collect it.
  • If no action is taken by the requester after he has been notified or the requester doesn?t respond with valid reasons, a warning email will be sent to the requester to highlight that ILL materials cost a lot of money and time and such action may lead to suspension of his privileges to request ILL material, in the future.?


The Deanship of Library Affairs reserves the right to deny interlibrary loan privileges to patrons who abuse the services in any way.


The requesters are reminded that making photocopies or other reproduction of materials sourced through ILL services is governed by the International copyright laws and the fair use principles. ILL materials may not be used for any purpose other than private study and research. Photocopying or reproducing for purposes other than the ?private? use, or in access of ?fair use? may be liable for copyright infringement.

Interlibrary Lending

The Interlibrary lending service is offered to the institutions that are signatories to the ABEGS ILL Code. Requests from other institutions may be considered in accordance with the provisions of the IFLA ILL Code.

Lending Material

  • The KFUPM community needs to override interlibrary lending policies and practices. 
  • The Library reserves the right to determine whether the material will be lent in the original form or as duplicate.
  • Materials being heavily used by KFUPM users may not be given on interlibrary loan.

The following material shall not be sent out in its original form:

  • Reference Books
  • Manuscripts
  • Rare Books
  • Latest Editions
  • Government Documents
  • AV Materials

Loan Period

  • Materials shall be lent for a maximum period of 45 days inclusive of in-transit time.
  • One renewal may be allowed under special circumstances.?


  • Gulf libraries (signatories to the ABEGS ILL Code) will be supplied material free of charge up to a maximum of 10 items per month.
  • Other libraries shall assume the responsibility of pre-payment for handling and postage charges. For the convenience of accounting, a flat charge of SR 50.00 per transaction will be charged.
User Maximum # of Requests
(Urgent and normal)
Maximum #
of Urgent
Faculty 30 10 20
Technical Staff 5 2 3
Graduate Students 25 10 15
Administrative Staff 5 2 3
Undergraduate 2 - 2