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Our services: Inter-Library Loans: How can I renew or cancel an item?

British Library service problems - Update.

The British Library is taking the first steps towards recovery following October's cyber-attack. A basic catalogue is available, and they are supplying loans from open stacks in the Lending Division (in Boston Spa, Yorkshire). E-journals and books held in the miles of compact shelving are currently still unavailable via inter-library loans.

British Library is just one of many libraries who supply books to Durham University, so the ILL team are working hard to source material from elsewhere. We should be able to source most books from other suppliers in the UK, but we are experiencing problems obtaining international material which is normally supplied via British Library. We will keep you updated as we find out more.  The ILL team will be happy to answer any queries regarding individual requests. Contact the ILL team at .

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How can I renew or cancel an item? 


Inter-Library Loan books issued to your library record will be renewed automatically wherever possible. Library staff will extend the loan 3 - 5 days before the due date, and you will receive an email with the new return date. There is a cost to the Library to renew your inter-library loan books, so if you have finished with the book, then please return it.

Not all books are renewable. Check the bookmark that came with your loan to see whether the item is likely to be renewable.

Books will be renewed regularly up to a maximum of a year, or until the lending library tell us that renewal is no longer possible. When the lending library is unable to renew the loan any further, we will email you and ask you to return the book promptly. Fines are charged at £1.00 per day for late return. Any books which are 28 days late will be considered lost and a fixed fee of £236.00 will be added to your library record.

Uncollected books or Confined loans will not be automatically renewed. If you need us to hold onto these books for longer, then please email the Inter-Library Loan team at before the end of the collection/consultation date and we will do what we can to arrange a renewal.



If you need to cancel an inter-library loan request, please email and tell us which request you want to cancel. 

Some requests can be cancelled immediately, but others could take a while. There are situations when a request cannot be cancelled, for example, if the book has already been posted to the Library. 

If you have accidentally made a duplicate request, please let us know as soon as possible.