I-Share vs. ILL: It’s not the same?

In our second post in the Learn About Your Library series, we’re going beyond Brookens Library and talking about the I-Share and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services.  When Brookens doesn’t own the book that you need you can request it, but how do you know which one to choose?  The general rule for books is request it through I-Share first then ILL if needed.  For articles, you always use ILL.  And if you’re an online student it’s a bit different and you should check out this page.  Yep, it can be confusing so here’s a breakdown:


The I-Share system is a consortium of over 70 Illinois libraries that are directly linked within an online I-Share catalog.

To find out how to set up an account to request a book through I-Share, view this tutorial.



If the book is not available through I-share, or has been requested and cannot be filled by an I-Share library, then you may request it through Interlibrary loan (ILL). The ILL department will then request the book from libraries outside of the I-Share system.

View this tutorial to find out how to request a book through ILL.


What if I need a journal article that cannot be found at the Brookens Library? Which one should I choose?

All article requests must go through ILL.  The I-Share system is only for book requests.  Even if the I-Share catalog shows that an I-Share library owns the journal you need, you cannot make a request for articles through that system.

This tutorial shows you how to request an article through ILL:


Visit our website for more information about ILL services such as how long it takes, and what other types of items can and cannot be requested.


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