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WorldCat Discovery User Guide

Placing an Interlibrary Loan Request


  1. Go to the WorldCat Discovery search box on the Library home page.
  2. Search for the item you want to request.

    Interlibrary loan requests
  3. When you search for the title it should not be available at one of the NWU Libraries. If it is you will do an Intercampus Request. To request items from other universities mark the tick box next to "Libraries Worldwide" on the left-hand side of the page.

    Intercampus loans request
  4. Click on the title of the item you want to request.

    Interlibrary loan requests
  5. Click on the Interlibrary Loan Request button under Access Options.

    Interlibrary loan requests
  6. Login with your North-West University CAS credentials. If you have already logged in, you will not be asked again.

    Interlibrary loan request
  7. Complete the request form.

    Interlibrary loans request

  8. After submitting the request, you will automatically be directed to your Patron Account> Requests.

    Interlibrary loans request

What are Interlibrary Loans Requests?

Interlibrary Loans Requests (ILL) provide a service to postgraduate students and researchers by obtaining material not owned by the North-West University Libraries via WorldCat Discovery. The Library offers documents to other national and international libraries through a nationwide interlibrary loan network.

Who can apply for interlibrary loans?

  • The service is available to registered fourth-year, honours, masters and doctoral students and staff of the North-West University.

Where is the interlibrary loans desk?

  • Mahikeng: This section is situated in the foyer of the Library.  
  • Potchefstroom: This section is situated in the foyer of the Ferdinand Postma Library. 
  • Vanderbijlpark: This section is situated on the library's ground floor next to the course reserve desk. 

Office hours

  • Books can be collected and returned to the libraries' interlending desks. 
  • You may collect and return materials from the respective libraries' lending desks outside office hours. 
  • Mahikeng: Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 17:00
  • Potchefstroom: Monday - Friday: 07:30 - 16:30
  • Vanderbijlpark: Monday - Friday: 07:30 - 16:30
  • For contact information, go to

How to submit an interlibrary loans request

  • Make sure that the library does own the item.

Check for Instant Article Access


Where to I see the status of my request?

How long will delivery take?

  • Books: ± 3 weeks
  • Articles: ± 1 -10 days
  • Delays may occur due to factors beyond the control of the staff, such as books out on loan or journals that may be in the bindery or circulating at branch libraries.

Notification of arrival of books and articles

  • Articles:
    • Articles will be sent to the user's email address.
  • Books: 
    • Users residing in Mahikeng, Potchefstroom, or Vanderbijlpark will receive a notice to collect the book from the ILL desk.
    • The books of users not residing in Mahikeng or Vanderbijlpark will be mailed to them upon request.  The user must return the books to the Library either personally or via post/courier.
    • Books: Potchefstroom
      • Postal services to users are temporarily on hold until further notice. Gauteng courier is still operational, and users are advised that couriers for national requests are at their own cost
      • Users not residing in Potchefstroom should make arrangements to collect their ILL books personally or via courier.
    • The user must personally return the books to the library or via courier.

Loan period of books

The supplying library determines loan periods.

  • The loan period of national books is ± 3 - 8 weeks.
  • No international books are requested.
  • Return books on time and ensure you are aware of the expiry in the book.
  • Each book will be issued with a book strap.
  • The expiry date will appear on the book strap. It is the responsibility of the user to return the ILL book on the expiry date or before.
  • Please do not remove the book strap before you return the ILL book to the Library.  You may move it to the back of the ILL book while using it.
  • The strap helps you and the ILL section to identify the book as an ILL book when it is returned to the Library.
  • Overdue fees:  Overdue fees will be R10.00 per book per day.


  • Some libraries grant no renewals, but some allow for ONE renewal.
  • Please provide the Request ID on the book strap (at all times) when you renew your book(s) or enquire by telephone or email.
  • Provide the original expiry date (Patron expiry date) on the book strap for renewal.

Costs involved in interlending services

  • National: As far as possible, no charges are attached to articles and books. Courier costs apply outside the Gauteng region.
  • International: An effort is made to acquire electronic copies of articles available for free. If not possible, the cost of an article is approximately 18 USD - 50 USD, depending on the length of the text. The price will be communicated beforehand and appear on the user's account. No international books are requested.