InterLibrary Loan

While the DCTC Library has access to a lot of materials, we cannot have everything. Fortunately, the state of Minnesota has an excellent system for sharing materials between libraries - academic and public - across the state (and even across state lines in special cases). You do not need any special permissions. You don't have to sign up for anything. All you need is a library card.

Need help with ILL?

Danielle Hoveland

General library contact:

Using These Tutorials

Never requested materials via ILL before? I can walk you through the process using a couple different methods. Click on the tabs above for examples of each.
  • Primo can be used to find materials in MNPals libraries like Normandale, St. Scholastica and MSU Mankato, as well as some special libraries like those at the Minnesota Historical Society and the Department of Transportation.
  • MNLink can be used for college, special, and public libraries. If you are a student/employee of DCTC, you can request materials from the Hennepin County Public Libraries, MNPals or SELCO here. If you are not a patron of the DCTC Library, you can request materials via your public library here too.
In my examples, I have requested a book that the DCTC Library doesn't own, but you can request videos and articles as well. We do not currently have the ability to loan entire e-books through ILL, but depending on copyright we may be able to request articles either as digital or physical copies.

Both of these tutorials assume you are a patron of DCTC Library (since I am), but if you would prefer to request materials to be checked out at your local public library, you can follow the "MNLink method" and place the request using the barcode on your public library card.


Let’s say I am looking for the book “The Man Who Would be Sherlock” by Christopher Sanford. The DCTC Library does not own this book.
Changing the drop down menu beside the search bar at the top to "other libraries", however, tells me that I can request a copy be sent to DCTC for me. 
In this particular case, the second entry is for an ebook, which I am unlikely to get through interlibrary loan. So I will choose the first entry, which is print.
You can see that Century College owns this book, but even if there were no library listed here or all copies listed are “unavailable” or “on loan”, you can still request it. It may be possible for interlibrary loan librarians to locate another copy for you (though you can also switch over to searching MNLink here to see if other libraries have copies at this point to verify that there are other copies you can request).

Click on "sign in". This will take you to a sign in page. Use your StarID login to sign in.
Notice how the bar with the sign in link has now changed to say "interlibrary loan". Click on it again and it will generate a pop up request form.
If you are requesting an article, this is where you might put details like the name of a specific article, volume number or page you need. Because this example is a book, I don't need to change any of the information that was automatically filled in. Click on the green "send request" link indicated by an arrow.
Be sure to click "I agree with the terms". The request will not go through until you do this part!
And now you will get a green bar telling you your request has been placed. You can check on the status of your request via the menu at the top of the screen. 
If our system has the correct email address attached to your account, you will get an email when your book arrives and is ready for you to check out. Generally it can take up to a week for requests to arrive (the amount of time varies depending on how far away the library is).


Let’s say I am looking for the book “The Man Who Would be Sherlock” by Christopher Sanford. In my Primo walkthrough, I found one copy at one college, but if I hadn't been so lucky, I could also try MNLink. Because MNLink connects even more libraries across the state, including public libraries, the odds of finding what you are looking for there can sometimes be greater.

I am using this a patron of the DCTC Library with an active barcode. If you are a student/employee of DCTC and you have a photo ID card, call or email us and we can activate the barcode on the back for you. If you have already checked materials from the library, it may already be active. 
UPDATE: placing holds in MNLink is currently not working and it is unclear when it will work again. You can still search for books you can't find in Primo, but the request will have to be put in manually. You can try filling out the information yourself in a blank ILL request (under the ellipses menu), or email the citation/link to us and we can put in the request for you.
As you can see, this book is held by several college and public libraries (and Century College, which I found via the Alma/Primo method is one). As a DCTC Library patron, I can place a request here that could send any of them to DCTC Library for me to checkout.
Click on "request item".
As a DCTC Library patron, I want to choose MNPals as my pickup location and enter the barcode on the back of my student ID/library card on the top line. But you can use this for placing requests at your public library as well. In fact, this system is smart enough that unless you are using your account for one of the public libraries listed in bold up there you do not even need to worry about the drop down. Just type in your barcode and click "login". MNLink will know which library is "my library".
This form populates automatically and I don't need to add anything. If you are requesting an article, this is where you can add details like volume and issue number or the specific pages that you need. Click “request” to send.
If you are placing the request as a DCTC patron via MNPals, your request will disappear from MNLink within a few minutes. Don't worry, it's not gone! It has just moved. You can track it via Primo under "my requests" (use your StarID to log in). If we have the correct email on your account, you will get an email once it arrives at DCTC Library and is ready to pick up