Get What You Need with I-Share
There are more than 120,000 books, magazines, DVDs and other physical media in the Library’s collection. But what if none of them is what you’re looking for?
That’s where I-Share comes in.
I-Share is a consortium of 86 Illinois college and university libraries (including Lewis) that allow their students to borrow materials from each other. Our I-Share membership means that if Lewis doesn’t have the item you are looking for, you may be able to borrow it from another Illinois library that does. Even better, you, the student, control the request process. Here’s how:
- If you’re looking for a hard-copy resource like a book or DVD, you can check the Lewis University Library Catalog and see if we own it. (If we do, the catalog will tell you where in the Library to find it.)
- If Lewis doesn’t own a copy of the item you need, you can change the catalog search menu to All I-Share Libraries. That search will tell you what other college and university libraries have a copy, and whether or not it’s available to check out.
- If there is a copy available at another library, you can request that it be sent to Lewis by clicking the Request First Available tab. The system will automatically select a copy for you.
- Clicking Request will tell that library to pull it from their shelves and send it to you. (Note: You will need to set up an I-Share account the first time. It’s quick and easy. This document tells you how.)
- I-Share items are picked up and delivered by van every weekday (other than holidays), so it can take a few days from request to delivery. We usually suggest allowing 3-5 days, depending on how far away it’s coming from. (You can also track its progress in your I-Share account.)
- When the item arrives at Lewis, you’ll get an email notifying you that it’s ready for pickup. You can check it out at the Library’s Service Desk, just like you would one of our resources. If you want to keep it beyond the due date, you can renew it online via your I-Share account.
It’s that simple!
Another fun fact: I-Share membership has in-person benefits as well. If the library that owns an item you need is nearby, you can go there and check it out with your Lewis ID. If you live near another I-Share institution, you can also return items there and even have your requests delivered there if you prefer.
For more information on setting up an I-Share account, requesting materials, and pretty much everything else you want to know about I-Share, visit our handy research guide and/or FAQ page. You can also stop by or call, email, text or chat with us for individual assistance.
One last thing: The I-Share system is used for borrowing physical resources like books and DVDs. Vendor restrictions do not allow us to share ebooks with each other. I-Share is also not the way to get copies of journal articles—but you can do that! Stay tuned for another blog post to find out how. (OK, if you want to know now, check out this page.)