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Requesting Materials at MU School of Law Library: Frequently Asked Questions

Questions that you might have

Q. What is the difference between a Merlin/MOBIUS request and an ILL request?

A. Merlin/MOBIUS requests aka patron-initiated requests, are made by patrons of Merlin/MOBIUS libraries themselves,  for books and other materials that are held by libraries within the MOBIUS consortium.  See the section "How to Request a Book" for instructions on how to make a Merlin/MOBIUS request.  At the present time, neither Merlin nor MOBIUS in general are set up for handling requests for articles from journals held by Merlin/MOBIUS libraries. 

    Traditional interlibrary loan requests (ILL) need to be made for those books and other materials that are not held by any Merlin/MOBIUS libraries.  These include any requests for journal articles.  See the section "How to Request an Article" for fuller information.  ILL requests are handled by the Interlibrary Loan Specialist who will be glad to answer any questions that you might have. 


Q. How soon can I expect to receive the item that I have requested?

A. Items that have been requested via Merlin/MOBIUS, and are available, should arrive within a week, hopefully sooner.  ILL requests for books and other circulating items normally take longer. as there may be more than one library to contact before we find one who will lend the item.  It may possibly be two weeks or more.  Receipt of the item may be expedited if the request is a rush.  This may entail extra charges.  We endeavor to get items to our patrons as expeditiously as possible.  Journal articles can often be arieled, faxed, or e-mailed, and arrive within a day or two.


Q. Will there be a charge?

A. Items obtained from Merlin/MOBIUS libraries are free of charge.  We make every effort to obtain ILL items from libraries that do not charge, but this is not always possible.  However, most of the time we can find at least one library in the consortia that we belong to that hold the requested item and will lend or send copies for free.  You may specify a maximum amount that you are willing to pay to receive the item.  Some libraries charge extra for rush requests.  Charges for FedEx or UPS deliveries are to be paid for by the patron.  You will be notified of any charges before the item is sent.  You may then accept or reject them depending upon how urgently you need the item.


Q. How will I be notified?

A. You will normally be notified by e-mail 1. when the requested item has arrived 2. if there are questions or problems 3. of any charges 4. if the request cannot be filled and why not.  If there are problems, you might also be contacted by phone or in person.  Please contact a staff member at the Circulation Desk about any delays with your request. Patrons are automatically notified by e-mail when a Merlin/MOBIUS book has arrived, or the request has been cancelled.  Items that we have received are placed on our holdshelf for one week after the patron has been notified.  If they are not picked up within that time, they are returned. 


Q. Why won't Ellis Library process my ILL requests?

A. Unlike every branch library on this campus, we have been separate from Ellis Library since 1979.  We do our own processing of materials, and this covers ILL procedures as well.  Any ILL requests by MU law school faculty, students, and staff are handled by our Interlibrary Loan Specialist.  Any ILL requests from MU law school patrons sent to Ellis Library get bounced back over here causing time delays and frustrations.  We in turn do not process ILL requests from non MU law school patrons.  We handle a much smaller number of requests than Ellis does.  Your request will be processed sooner.