If the title you need isn't available at Amherst, we can still get it for you via the 3 services below (Five College Delivery, Purchase, or Interlibrary Loan).

If something's missing or misplaced from our stacks, we can do a search for it.

Five College Delivery (FCD)

Use the Place Request option in the main Library search, Discover, to borrow from Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, or UMass Amherst.

  • For items in Discover at another campus or already checked out, use Place Request to submit a delivery request or hold for this item.
  • You'll receive an e-mail when your request arrives (usually in 1-2 business days), telling you the item is ready for pick-up at Frost
  • Items will be held 7 days for pick-up

Materials not eligible for delivery:

  • Electronic materials available only on specific campuses due to license agreements
  • Fragile materials at the discretion of the owning library. Visit the owning library in person
  • Journal volumes may be requested only from the Amherst College Depository and the Five College Depository (directly through the catalog), but not from Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and UMass. For the latter, request specific articles through Interlibrary Loan.
  • Stop by the Frost service desk or e-mail us at about other options for these materials

Purchase requests

If not available from Five Colleges, log in to the Request Service.

  • We’ll buy what you need and accept requests from students, faculty, and staff
  • RUSH service turnaround time depends on several factors (foreign vs. domestic, big vs. small press publisher, license agreements, etc.). Commercially available U.S. editions will generally take up to 2 weeks from purchase to notifying you
  • If you just want to be notified that the item is ready to be borrowed, we'll email you. Most items are ready for loan in 6-8 weeks
  • If we can't fulfill your request, we may refer you to the Interlibrary Loan service
  • We'll email you if we have any questions; you can send any questions to libacq@amherst.edu
  • To check on the progress of a request, search Discover for your item and check the Location and Status fields.

Log in above to get started

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

To place a request for hard copies or scans log in to the Request Service.

  • A global resource sharing community that provides loans and scans of requested library titles.
  • For requesting titles not available at Amherst College or by Five Colleges Direct borrowing (the Place Request option in Discover).
  • Available materials include almost any title found in the library’s databases. We on average fulfill 96% of requests. This includes books, journal/newspaper articles, book chapters, theses, microforms, CDs, DVDs, scores, conference proceedings, and, sometimes, archived holdings. E-books are generally unavailable.
  • Delivery times average 1-3 days for an article/book chapter (as pdf) and 5-10 days for a mailed loan. Requests for rare, in high demand, newly published titles, or those available from faraway places, can take several weeks. Delivery notices are emailed.
  •  Loan periods are usually about a month, and most lenders allow a month more if a renewal is requested. For renewals, follow the instructions provided in our “your loan is due soon” courtesy email. If your title is required for long-term study select “purchase for the library” when placing your request.
  • Costs are borne by the library, but, in case of loss or damage, patrons are responsible for replacement charges as set by the lending library.
  • Restrictions apply to some loans: microforms are always “in library use only” and stored at the Frost Library circulation desk, and a lender might require their loan to be kept in the Archives and Special Collections reading room on Frost A level.

 To contact us:

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
1st Floor, Frost Library
Steven Heim, ILL supervisor (413) 542-5028