Rolfing Unshelved

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Not Two Ways to Skin a Cat — I-Share v. Illiad

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Interlibrary Loan

Trinity has a pretty awesome library. But what happens when Trinity doesn’t have that book, article, media, etc. for which you are looking? Well, as students at Trinity, we have the amazing privilege of having access to thousands of other materials through our two inter-library loan systems, I-Share and ILLiad.

But what are these two systems? And why do we have two? What are the differences between them? How do I know when to use one and not the other?

What are I-Share and ILLiad?


I-Share is a consortium of Illinois academic libraries that lends its collections to any member of a fellow I-Share library. I-Share involves over 75 libraries throughout the state of Illinois. And best of all, it’s free to use!

When ordered, items are delivered to whichever library you select (e.g., Rolfing). When your I-Share book arrives at Rolfing, you will receive an email the next day letting you know. Further, members of an I-Share library can visit any other I-Share library and borrow items onsite.

You can access I-Share through the Rolfing website, or consult our research guide for more information.


ILLiad, which stands for “Inter-Library Loan Internet Accessible Database,” is an inter-library loan system that allows one to borrow books and receive photocopies of periodical articles that are not available at Rolfing but can be obtained from other libraries. Unlike I-Share, which is specific to participating Illinois libraries, ILLiad’s database includes libraries across the country and even throughout the world.

ILLiad is usually free. However, if the item you want is only available from a library that charges a fee, then you will be responsible to pay that borrowing fee.

Like I-Share, when your requested items arrive at Rolfing, you will receive an email. In the case of journal articles, you will receive an email containing the article itself.

You can access ILLiad through the Rolfing website, or navigate to our research guide if you need help.


I-Share and ILLiad services are available to all current students, faculty, and staff of TIU. But — bad news — patrons not currently affiliated with the university (i.e. those with courtesy and visitor accounts) are not eligible to use I-Share and ILLiad services.

When should I use I-Share or ILLiad?


Use I-Share when you are looking to borrow a book but it is not available at Rolfing Library. Simple. 🙂


We should first ask, when shouldn’t one use ILLiad? Think of ILLiad as the last resort. One shouldn’t use ILLiad if the material for which you are looking is available in either Rolfing Library or another I-Share library (in other words, check I-Share first). Consequently, if you submit an ILLiad request for an item that’s currently available in I-Share (i.e. the library owns this item and it is not currently checked out), your request will be denied… Sorry. 😦

In short, you should always start you inter-library loan endeavors with I-Share. If the item is not available in I-Share, then consider submitting a request for the item through ILLiad.

Comparison Chart!




Who Can Request Books or Other Returnable Materials? Any current individual of TIU living near an I-Share library Any current individual of TIU within a 60 mile radius of the Deerfield campus
Who Can Request Articles or Other Copied Materials? N/A Any current individual of TIU
Cost No cost to borrow Free if possible, determined by lending library, patron notified of all charges prior to item being requested
Fines/Fees Patron responsible for lost/replacement fees Patron responsible for lost/replacement fees
Materials Borrowed Books primarily, other materials on a limited basis Books, microfiche, media
Materials Not Borrowed Non-circulating serials Textbooks and/or books required for classes, books available in the TIU library, entertainment
Loan Period 28 days Determined by lending library
Renewals 3 renewals, 28 days each (faculty get 6 renewals, 28 days each) Determined by lending library, 1 renewal max
Patron Account View all materials checked out from TIU or I-Share libraries, request materials from I-Share libraries, renew I-Share materials View materials, request renewals, and place requests through ILLiad account

Author: Kirk E. Miller

Kirk E. Miller is a MDiv student at TEDS, reference assistant at Rolfing, and leader at Lake Drive Baptist Church (Milwaukee, WI). He blogs at You can follow him on Twitter at @KirkMiller_

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