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Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a research-support service through which materials not held by HKBU Library may be obtained from other libraries. 

HKBU academic and equivalent administrative staff, instructors, support and research staff, UGC-funded and HKBU self-funded postgraduate and undergraduate students can make ILL requests through the Library’s online ILL system.

Retired Staff Members, Adjunct Professors, and University Honorary Associates are only eligible for this service if they are currently responsible for either teaching a credit-bearing course OR serving as supervisor for a research postgraduate thesis project. Access in these cases is not automatically provided and must be requested via the academic Department concerned.

Please contact the Library’s Circulation and Interlibrary Loan Section (, 3411-7444) for details.

ILL service Introduction Video

Service Guidelines

Currently, any service charges payable for ILL requests will be fully subsidized by the Library for all eligible users. This policy is subject to review.

Logging in 

Please log in to the system using your HKBU SSOid.

Reviewing Requests

To review submitted requests, log into your account and select “Review Requests” from the main menu. This section allows you to view or modify outstanding requests, resubmit cancelled requests, and view the history of completed requests. Detailed request information and status messages are also shown.

Explanation of Status Terms

Awaiting Request ProcessingRequest received, ready to search for potential lenders.
Cancelled by CustomerRequest cancelled by user.
Cancelled by ILL StaffRequest cancelled by Library staff. An e-mail message explaining why the request was cancelled will be sent to the user. Detailed information regarding the cancelled request can also be found by selecting “View/Resubmit Cancelled Requests” from the main menu.
Request SentRequest has been sent, waiting for response from potential lender.
Delivered to WebRequested article(s) have been posted to the user’s HKBU ILL account for viewing and/or downloading.
Received Partial/Incorrect ItemReceived item either did not match requested item or is incomplete. Library staff will determine the quickest means to correct this.
Awaiting Post Receipt ProcessingItem received but is not yet ready for pickup.
In Print QueueItem is currently awaiting the printing of its identification label by ILL staff.
Awaiting Customer ContactItem received, but the user has not yet been informed.
Customer Notified via E-MailItem received, and the user has been notified via automated email.
Checked Out to CustomerItem received, and has been checked out to the user.
Item Checked InUser returned the item to ILL office, and the item has been checked in.
Awaiting Return Label PrintingILL office is processing the item for returning to lender.
In Return Address Print QueueILL office is printing return address label.
Item ReturnedItem has been returned to the lender.
Request FinishedThe entire request process has been completed. Requests with this status are archived under the “View Request History” from the main menu.

Delivery Time

Delivery time varies depending on the location, type, and availability of the requested item. Under normal circumstances, the estimated time to fulfil requests is as follows:

From local libraries: Around 1 week
From overseas libraries: Around 2-3 months

Should you need any special arrangement for urgent delivery of requested item(s), please contact the ILL office at or 3411-7445.

Pick Up and Return

Returnable items such as books should be picked up and returned in person at the User Services Counter to ensure that they are in good condition and are returned on time.

Loan Period

The loan period is set by the lending library. In general, loan periods range from four to eight weeks. Renewals of ILL materials can be requested by contacting the ILL Office at or 3411-7445. ILL items are also subject to recall by the lending library.

Repeat Loan Requests

To optimize the use of resources, repeat ILL loan requests for a particular physical item by the same patron cannot be entertained under some circumstances. Please try to ensure that you have finished with a physical item delivered via ILL before returning it to the Library.

Delivery Time

Under normal circumstances, the estimated time to fulfil requests is as follows:

From local libraries: Around 3 working days to 1 week
From overseas libraries: Around 15 working days to 1 month

Delivery Mode

Electronic items will usually be provided in PDF format. After receiving the email notification, you can log into the ILL system and select the “View/Download Electronically Received Articles” button on the Main Menu to view the document. Articles will be accessible for 30 days through your ILL account. You are advised to download a copy to save it for future use.

On rare occasions, electronically received articles will be delivered to you in paper format. This may occur when quality issues mean that the requested articles cannot be produced in a legible electronic copy. In such cases, you will need to pick up the paper copy at the User Services Counter after receiving an email notification.

When providing ILL services to other libraries, HKBU Library adheres to the guidelines published by the Intellectual Property Department of the HKSAR Government.

Please click here for more details about our ILL Lending Policies.

Last updated: 18 November 2021