Frequently Asked Questions
about Document Delivery Services

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  What is Library on Request?

Library on Request is the document delivery service of the Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries to Medical College of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital, and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin faculty, staff and students as well as other non-profit users.  Use Library on Request to:

  • Request the scanning and electronic delivery of an article that is held in print form in one of the MCW Libraries
  • Request the transfer of a book from one of the three MCW Libraries to another. Users may pick items up at any of the three libraries that is most convenient for them.
  • Obtain articles/book chapters/books that are not owned by MCW Libraries and must be requested from another library outside the MCW Libraries' system.
  What is Pronto?

Pronto is MCW Libraries' service to for-profit companies such as law firms and pharmaceutical companies. More information about Pronto is available on our website.

  What is ILLiad?

ILLiad is the electronic system you use to request document delivery from the Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries. The name ILLiad is an acronym for InterLibrary Loan internet accessible database. InterLibrary Loan is one part of the document delivery service where the library requests needed items from another library.

  What are the advantages to ILLiad?
  1. With ILLiad, you enter your name, address, and other personal information into the system only once, at the time of your first request.
  2. You can get information about the status of your request through the Web at any time from any location without having to call the library.
  3. Data about what you have requested will remain in ILLiad for your reference for several years. This is known as your History Requests.
  4. Library personnel are able to serve you better because all data about your request and its handling is stored in a searchable database. We are able to respond quickly to your inquiries about your request. We are also able to gather statistical information about the performance of the libraries that lend to us, enabling us to make better decisions when choosing a lender to supply an item.
  Are there any disadvantages to ILLiad?

Some people might find it troublesome to have to log into ILLiad using a username and password. We believe this is less trouble than traditional paper and electronic systems which require you to enter your personal information with each new request. We also believe that the disadvantage of a password is less important than being able to provide the advantages of features such as tracking requests and accessing historical information about requests that only a passworded system can provide.

  What username should I pick for my account?

We suggest that you use your full email address. This will help you avoid choosing a username that someone else has chosen. This will also help you if you don't remember that you already have an account and try to re-register. The system will prompt you to choose another username which will give you a cue that you have already registered.

  What if I forget my password?

In the event that you forget your password, use the "Forgot Password?" link on the ILLiad logon page.

If you have problems with that, please contact the library at (414) 955-8300 or send email to We can then reset your password allowing you access to ILLiad. Please change your password once you logon to ILLiad.

  Can I have two accounts?

The library assumes that one person only wants one account. Therefore, if a person registers for ILLiad a second time, we will eliminate one of the accounts. If you need two accounts, contact us.

  Can I share my account with someone else?

There are problems with this. Only one person can be logged into an account at the same time. So, if one person is requesting documents while another is downloading/printing previously requested and received documents, one person will not be able to access the account. For this reason as well as for copyright purposes (see the next question), we suggest that every ILLiad user have his/her own account.

  Can the library fill out my requests for me?

The copyright laws of the United States infer that the person who will be the ultimate user/recipient of the material requested should be the person who makes the request and acknowledges that they have read the copyright warning notice.  For this reason, users should request their own document delivery materials.

  Why do I have to fill out a request form? Why can't I just call you or send you an email?

Again, it's because of copyright law. Under certain conditions, libraries are authorized to furnish copies of copyrighted material. The copyright laws clearly state that a warning concerning copyright restrictions is required to be on every document delivery request form. It is there to continually educate users about copying restrictions and also to ensure that the requester assumes responsibility for complying with the terms of the statement. While technically it is possible to read this long, legal warning over the phone, it typically is not done. Any unwritten warning would be hard to prove in a court of law.

  Is security a problem if I use a public workstation?

Yes. Web browsers cache information and create a history file on the local workstation. This allows a subsequent user of the workstation to access the system under your name using the browser's Back button to recall a page from the cache, or by finding a page with your personal information in the browser's history file. If you are concerned about the security of your document delivery requests, you can take the following steps:

  1. Access ILLiad only from your personal computer or an otherwise secure workstation.
  2. When using a public access workstation in the library, use Mozilla. Close Mozilla upon exiting and then clear the private data. All workstations in the libraries should automatically prompt you to clear private data upon exiting from Mozilla.
  What happens if I don't want to pay anything for these requests?

There is a place on the form which asks what you are willing to pay.  The default amount is "nothing."  If there will be a charge, the requests will be canceled and you will be notified.  You can re-request the documents if you change your mind.  However, if the requests were not available in MCW Libraries, the request process will likely have to start over.

MCW Libraries always provides documents as inexpensively as we can for the service level requested.  You should authorize as much as you are willing to pay to obtain the resources requested in the time frame indicated.

  What's the difference between rush and regular service?

Requests which are filled by the regular service are usually filled within 3 business days if the items requested are available in MCW Libraries.  If our libraries do not have the item you need, then we need to go through "Interlibrary Loan."  We'll search for another library that has the item needed, contact them and request that they send it to us.  This process usually takes 5-10 days and depends upon the availability of the item.

Requests which are filled by rush service are usually filled within 1 business day if the items requested are available in MCW Libraries.  If our libraries do not have the item you need, we will attempt to obtain it from another library as quickly as possible.  If the item can be sent to us electronically, we can often obtain the item within 2 business days.

If you need this item because of a patient care emergency, please let us know by requesting rush service and also stating that it's needed for a patient care emergency in the "Notes" box.

  What are all the options for delivery of my documents?

While we can provide materials to you in hard copy form, most users prefer electronic delivery.  Electronically delivered articles and book chapters will be available within your ILLiad account.

Originals such as books must be picked up in one of the three MCW Libraries.  When you register, choose the library that's most convenient for you to pick up items. 

Photocopies of articles and book chapters can be delivered to one of the three MCW Libraries or we can mail them to you.

  I don't have all the information about what I'm requesting, but I have some. What do I do?

Give us as much information as you have.  If we cannot be sure that we know what item you need, we'll contact you.

  What is a UI or PMID Number?

This is the number that you see within a citation in Medline database results.  If you didn't get your citation from Medline, you don't need to supply this number.

  What is an ISBN?

This is the number that's associated with a book.  It's easily found in a library catalog record or within an online book warehouse record.  If you don't have this number, you don't need to supply it.

  What does this copyright statement mean?

If you are requesting a document for a non-profit use and you agree to the copyright statement, you assume responsibility for making sure that the copy provided is not used for any purpose other than for your private study, scholarship, or research. 

If you are requesting a document for a for-profit use, we will take care of paying the copyright royalties which are required to be paid for uses that are not for private study, scholarship or research.  If you agree to the copyright statement, you assume the responsibility for making sure that subsequent uses of the copy provided do not violate copyright law.

  How will I know that my request has been received by the library and will be processed?

The status of your request is listed in your ILLiad account. As your request moves through the system and library staff handle the request, the status will change and can tell you what is happening. Here are some of the most often used statuses:

  • Awaiting Copyright Clearance: This is an article or book chapter request which is not available in MCW Libraries and our interlibrary loan staff will have to find it at another library. We are currently checking to see whether copyright fees need to be paid in order to provide a copy of this item. If the copyright fees plus the service charges will exceed what you are willing to pay, you'll be contacted.
  • Awaiting Document Delivery Processing: Your request has been initially processed by library staff and will be provided from our collection.
  • Awaiting Remote Storage Processing: Most of MCW Libraries' print journal collection is housed off-site. Your request is in one of the volumes in storage. The library is working on scanning your article from the print journal.
  • Awaiting Regular DocDel Processing: You have submitted this regular service level request, but it has not yet been processed by library staff.
  • Awaiting Regular Pronto Processing: You have submitted this regular service level request on behalf of a for-profit company, but it has not yet been processed by library staff.
  • Awaiting Rush DocDel Processing: You have submitted this rush service level request, but it has not yet been processed by library staff.
  • Awaiting Rush Pronto Processing: You have submitted this rush service level request on behalf of a for-profit company, but it has not yet been processed by library staff.
  • Awaiting Rush Remote Storage Processing: You have submitted a rush service level request and it is in one of the volumes that the library has in storage. The library is working on scanning your article from the print journal.
  • Cancelled by ILL Staff: Your request could not be provided for some reason. You would have been sent notification about the reason via email or phone, whichever you indicated is your preference. You can find a record of the notification if you prefer email in your Notifications screen within your ILLiad account.
  • Checked Out to Customer: You picked up the material that was borrowed from another library for you. As soon as you're through with it, you should bring it back to the library and we will return it to the library from which it was borrowed.
  • Customer Notified via Phone/Email - You were sent an email or you were called to let you know that an item that we borrowed from another library is now available at your preferred pickup location.
  • Delivered to Web: Your request has been provided to you electronically. You should be able to view it from your ILLiad account.
  • In DD Stacks Searching: Your requested material is available in the MCW Libraries' collection and library staff will be accessing it shortly.
  • In Electronic Delivery Processing: The material you requested has arrived from another library in MCW Libraries' Interlibrary Loan office, but has not yet been electronically delivered to you.
  • In Transit: You have returned the material which was borrowed for you to one of our libraries. It is being sent back to the library's Interlibrary Loan office and our staff will return it to the library from which it was borrowed.
  • In Transit to Children's Library/Froedtert Library/Todd Wehr Circulation: Your requested material is being sent in hard copy form to the MCW Libraries location at which you indicated you would like to pick up materials.
  • Item Checked In: The item that was borrowed for you has been returned to MCW Libraries and is ready to be returned to the library from which it was borrowed.
  • Item Returned: The item that was borrowed for you has been returned to the library from which it was borrowed.
  • Request Finished: The request is no longer actively being worked on. It has either been fulfilled or canceled.
  • Request Sent: Your requested item was not available in MCW Libraries. Interlibrary Loan staff have requested this from another library.
  Who do I call for help if I need it?

You can call any of our libraries and our staff will be happy to help you. Call The Todd Wehr Library at (414) 955-8300 for service whenever the main library is open (during regular academic year hours we are open 7 days a week).