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Using InterLibrary Loan (ILL) in your Literature and Language Classes

For Dr. P.'s classes, this guide has helpful tips and steps to using interlibrary loan (ILL)

Current Services


OneSearch with CSU+ is now the primary path to request most interlibrary loan (ILL) materials.

Please use CSU+ to request Books, Book Chapters, and Journal Articles that CSULB does not have available physically or electronically.

BeachReach is still available when CSU+ does not have the materials you want.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: The University Library has a copy of the journal/book I need an article from. Can I still place a request for a digital version?
A: Yes! Right now, we are filling PDF requests even if a physical copy is available in our library. 

Q: Can I request a whole eBook?
A: No, you cannot request a full copy of an electronic book. Doing so would be in breach of copyright restrictions. You can request no more than TWO chapters of any given book (physical or digital). Any requests for whole eBooks will be cancelled.

CSU+ Request - Basics

Requesting Interlibrary Loan

Situation: You found the item in OneSearch but we do not have it:

  1. Search for an item in OneSearch, or enter an item's title into the OneSearch Everything Search.
  2. Once you find your item in OneSearch, select the link "Request this item from other libraries".

screenshot of request from other libraries link in OneSearch results

The screenshot above shows the ILL request link. I've circled it in red.

  1. Fill out the request form. Make sure to select Article or Book from the circle button choices at the top.

Situation: You searched OneSearch but there were no results at all:

  1. Copy and paste the title of the item into the OneSearch box. Make sure Everything is selected as your search option.
  2. Your search offers no results, but at the very top, you will see a link "Didn't find what you were looking for? Expand your search
  3. Select that link. From this expanded search, you will get another page with no results. But a new link will appear: "Still didn't find what you need? Send a request"
  4. Selecting the Send a request link will bring you to a sign-in page and then to a form you can fill out. Make sure to select Article or Book from the circle button choices at the top.

In all Situations,
once you have made a request, you will get an email to your CSULB email when your item is available. PDFs of articles and book chapters live in your Library Account. CSULB Library Homepage > Services (at very top) > My Library Account. Physical items can be picked up at Circulation - the long desk to the Left when you walk into the Library's main doors.

Track & Download

To check on your requests, start at the CSULB Library Homepage. Under Services, select My Library Account.

  • Sign into your account with your Single Signon information.
  • Inside your account, you can track requests and download PDFs. 

Screenshot Services and My Account on Lib homepage

The screenshot above shows the Services dropdown menu at the top and near the left-side of the library homepage. My Library Account is a dropdown choice from Services. I circled Services and My Library Account in red. You can now also link to BeachReach requests from your Library Account.

CSU+ Request - Detailed

CSU+ in OneSearch - Details for when you see a record of the item

  1. Search OneSearch for your materials OR enter the title of the item you want in the OneSearch Everything search.
  • If you are looking for a book chapter, first try searching the title of the book.
  • If you are looking for an article, search the title of the article (not the title of the journal)
  1. If interlibrary loan requests are available, the OneSearch record will have a "Request this item from other libraries" link beneath the item's information.

Image of initial search results

The screenshot above shows an example of a CSU+ interlibrary loan request link that reads: "Request this item from other libraries". I have circled it in red.

  1. Select the "Request this item from other libraries" link. You will be taken to the item's catalog page.
  • On the item's page, you may see a variety of options to get the materials, including links to look for a free version online.
  1. Underneath these options, you will see a section that reads: "Get it from other locations".
  • At the bottom of this section will be a "Get It" button for the request. Select this button to get to the request form. 

The screenshot below shows the options and the button. I've put a green checkmark next to the button to indicate where it is.

Screenshot of Get It button on an item's catalog page in OneSearch

NOTE: The example tells us the delivery estimate is within 24 hours. These times are always estimates. CSULB Interlibrary Loan staff are real people who work diligently to access, retrieve, and deliver the items we request from other libraries. Finding and processing these materials takes time. Please have patience as your request is fulfilled. Please contact ILL if you have questions.

  1. Request Forms: Once you select the "Get It" button, there are "Get It" options you may see, depending on your request.
  • "Get It" options for physical books and journal, magazine, or newspaper articles will have a very basic form to fill out: your name and any notes you may have. These notes are read by our ILL staff. You can ask questions here too.
  • Once you are finished filling out the form, select SEND.

Screenshot for request form for an article

The screenshot above shows a request for an electronic copy. That means a PDF in most cases. This could be an article in a journal, newspaper, or magazine. Physical book requests will have similarly simple forms.

  • "Get It" options for book chapters will have a slightly more detailed form to fill out, including page numbers.

Screenshot of Book chapter request form

The screenshot above shows the detailed form for book chapters, with the areas to fill out indicated by a red vertical line with dots at both ends. I added a note on the picture: Book Chapter Request: You can often find the chapter titles and page numbers in the description of the book within its OneSearch catalog entry. You can also try looking through the book on's "Look Inside" feature of Google Books to see chapter titles and page numbers.

6.) Once you have made the request, you can track it in your My Library Account. This is also where CSU+ PDF requests will be delivered.

Screenshot of inside My Account for CSULB LibraryThe screenshot above shows a book chapter request listed inside My Library Account. It shows the PDF delivery date; the download button is on the far-right. I have circled My Account in red.

If you have any questions about your request, or your request has been rejected and you'd like to know why, please contact ILL.

CSU+ Request - Your Item is not in OneSearch

Sometimes OneSearch will not have a record of the item you want. However, please search OneSearch thoroughly before filling out a blank CSU+ request.

It is best to go through the process as follows:

  1. Copy and paste the title of the article into the OneSearch box, and make sure Everything is selected as your search option.
  2. You will see that there are no results, but at the very top, you will see a link "Didn't find what you were looking for? Expand your search
  3. From this expanded search, you will get another page with no results. But a new link will appear: Still didn't find what you need? Send a request
  4. Selecting the Send a request link will bring you to a sign-in page and then to a form you can fill out. Make sure to select Article or Book from the circle button choices at the top.

There is one situation where you may go directly to a CSU+ Blank Request Form:

  • You have searched OneSearch and it does not give you any options. 

To go to the blank form from the Library Home Page: 

  1. Select Advanced Search underneath the OneSearch Box.
  2. On the top black ribbon, select the three dots " . . . " (these are called ellipses, and they indicate More Options on a web page)
  3. Once inside that selection, you will see an option for CSU+ Request.
  4. Select this link and it will take you to the Blank Form. This form has tabs to choose whether you'd like to request an article or chapter in a book (delivered as PDF) OR a physical book (send through the physical mail to the Library.)
    1. Again, you may have to sign in with your Single Sign-On & MFA
    2. Use Google to search more information about the item you seek.

CSU+ Blank Form - select here for a direct link - needs Single Sign-On/MFA

BeachReach Options


BeachReach is used when CSU+ does not have access to the materials you are requesting. As CSU+ has become more robust, with many more book, book chapter and article items, BeachReach is now mainly used for items that are not in OneSearch that are specialty media, such as DVDs, Scripts, Music Sheets, etc. 

Option #1:

You may see a BeachReach request offered in the OneSearch record for the item.

  • This may be in the same area as "Get it from another library" or it could be above in the other options.
  • If you are given CSU+ and BeachReach options for the same item, please choose the CSU+ method.

Option #2:

If OneSearch does not have a record of the item

AND your item is NOT a book, book chapter or article

fill out a blank BeachReach form. The Interlibrary Loan staff will do their best to get the materials for you.

  • In other words: If the item you seek is not in OneSearch, and it is a book, book chapter, or article, please use CSU+.

Active CSULB students, faculty, and staff each have a BeachReach account where you request items. This account is also where you retrieve electronic documents, usually PDFs.

Access your BeachReach account using your Single Signon

Option #1: Use the BeachReach link in the OneSearch catalogue


If you are looking for a Book, Book Chapter or Article, please use the CSU+ link first, as explained above.


If you find an item that does not offer access through CSU+, you can select the link that reads “Request from BeachReach”. Selecting this link will direct you to your BeachReach account (Single Signon will be required) and the process should automatically fill in a large portion of your request.

Screenshot of online library catalog page with BeachReach link available

  • Make sure the information that automatically populates is correct; fill it in if it is not there.
  • The red starred/asterisk " * " areas must be filled in to submit the request, but all information you can input helps the staff find the item for you.
    • One red starred/asterisk " * " area is called "Not wanted after date." Unless you have a specific deadline you'd like the materials by, just put in the date of the end of the year. ILL will let you know if your item is available within a week or less in most circumstances.
  • Once you are done, select “Submit Request” at the bottom of the page.

Option #2: Make a request directly from your BeachReach account


If you are looking for a Book, Book Chapter or Article, please use CSU+, explained above.


Sign into your BeachReach Account. You will see all of the request options on the LEFT.

The screenshot below shows the request options list on the left. I've circled these options in red.

As noted, BeachReach is now used for items not available through CSU+. In BeachReach, to request items such as DVDs, Scripts, and Music Sheets, please select "Book or Media."

Screenshot of BeachReach blank form choices

Using the BeachReach Blank Form

Generally, the more information you provide the better. Double check your requests to make sure the information is correct. Search Google to find information about the item you seek. 

Providing as much information as you have will help ILL to process the request and get the material to you faster.

You can also use the “Note” field on the form to add information about your item, or ask questions. Real people read this form.

Getting Your BeachReach Items

Your Library Account now links to your BeachReach account (See Track & Download above). However, you can still get to your BeachReach Account directly:

Login to your BeachReach Account to access information about your BeachReach requests.

  • Under VIEW, select Electronically Received Articles to find delivery of anything you requested as a PDF.
    • You can look at all of your requests under VIEW, including requests for physical items.

Screenshot of BeachReach view on options on left

Above is a screenshot of the View Items area of your BeachReach Account. The Electronically Received Articles link is on the left. I have pointed a red arrow at the link.

When NOT to Request ILL

Q: When should you NOT request an interlibrary loan?

A: When the item is available in our online library, stacks, or storage.

Understanding if your CSULB library has access to an article or book chapter can, at times, be visually complicated. 

Below is an example of when NOT to make an ILL request, even if the "Get It" button or link is present:

Screenshot of catalog entry where interlibrary loan is not necessary

Please notice the following elements in the screenshot above:

1.) This article was published in 2019 in the journal Langmuir. The article is in volume 35, issue 16 of Langmuir. I have underlined this information in red.

2a.) Beneath this information reads "Full text availability", with the link "American Chemical Society Journals (ACS)".

  • This is the website you have access to via CSULB.
  • This website houses an online version of Langmuir. 

2b.) Under that access point link, it reads, "Available from 1996 volume: 12 issue: 1."

  • This tells you that the Full Text online version of this whole journal is available from 1996 to the present. 1996 to the present includes 2019. I have highlighted these elements with red lines and circles.

2c.) When you select the American Chemical Society Journals (ACS) link, it will recognize that you are coming from the CSULB library website and allow you to access all of Langmuir from 1996.

  • Once on that website, you will be able to search for the 2019 volume, if it does not take you directly to your article automatically.
  • Within the 2019 section, volume 35 will be listed, and within volume 35, issue 16 will be listed, and your article will be within that issue. 

3.) HOWEVER! Beneath this link, there is a "Get It" button to use CSU+ to interlibrary loan the same PDF.

  • You do not need to do use this button. (I have placed a red X next to it in the screenshot above.) 
  • You have immediate access to the PDF by using the American Chemical Society Journals (ACS) link.


  • Sometimes these access links fail, however, and then using interlibrary loan is OK. Always report failed links to ILL.
  • If we have a physical item available and you would like part of it as a PDF, you may currently request ILL perform this service.

Why So Many Choices?

Q: Why are there so many choices? Why is this complicated?

A: Our resources come from thousands of different publishers and vendors.

Access to CSULB library materials is not free. Part of student tuition goes to pay for library resources, and the rest comes from campus and CSU funding. We have millions of items for you to access, and OneSearch is a program that tries to integrate all of these resources into one place. Unlike Google, our access requires many layers of security because of the cost of the items. 

  • There are different ways vendors and publishers allow access to materials CSULB pays for, so the process is not always streamlined, and sometimes access points overlap. 
  • When you see different links to access an item online, take a moment to read through your choices to see what is available where. If one path does not work, try another one offered.