Information Services

Paying for Interlibrary Loans

Details of how much it costs to use the service and how to pay for requests.

How much does it cost?

Staff and students of the University each have a quota of interlibrary loans that are provided free of charge. Details of the quotas are listed below.

Staff or Student Quota of free loans
Staff 30
Research Postgraduate 30
Taught Postgraduate 30
Undergraduate 5

If you use your quota of free loans, there will be a charge of £5.00 per item for the supply of any subsequent loans or renewals.

Any unused parts of the 2023/24 quota cannot be carried forward to the next year. They are void after 31/7/2024.

Within this arrangement, staff and students of the University may request up to 150 items within any year (1st August to 31st July). If you request more than 150 items you will be charged the full cost of £18 per item.

User category Cost for each fulfilled request
University of Edinburgh staff and students – first 150 requests £5.00
Full rate (requests above the 150 limit) £18.00
External readers [including Alumni] £18.00

Important Service Update

The ILL Service is currently only available to staff and students of the University. 


You may request up to 2 renewals per item. However they are at the discretion of the lending library, so there is no guarantee that they will be permitted. Most lenders do not charge for renewals. However, any additional charges will be passed on to the borrower.

Please note: each renewal for which the Library has been charged will count as a single request from the quota of free ILLs.

Requesting from other University of Edinburgh Library Sites

Requests from other University of Edinburgh Library sites are supplied free of charge.

How to pay for the service

If you have exceeded your quota of free ILLs, you will be charged for any subsequent items. Advice notes are sent to you by email, detailing all charges for items supplied. Please do not attempt to pay until you receive an advice note.

Payments for fines can be made online using a credit or debit card. To pay for your ILLs online you must log in to your DiscoverEd account. 


  • Click on 'Sign In to DiscoverEd' and then 'My Account'.
  • Click on the 'University Login Users' option. 
  • You will be shown your personal library account which will include any books you have on loan, historic loans, requests you have made, fines and any potential fines if you have overdue books.

Once logged into your Library account:

  • You can click on “Fines & Fees” to view any fines and fees you have on your account.
  • You can click on the “Pay all fines/fees” link in order to pay all of your fines and fees. If you think that you have been charged incorrectly, please contact the IS Helpline or contact the ILL team by email at

Some Schools and courses will pay for ILLs for their staff and/or postgraduate students. Before paying, check with your School's administrative staff or Academic Support Librarians, to find out if your School covers the cost for you.

School administrative staff who would like more information about paying for their members' ILL requests should contact