What is an Interlibrary Loan?

Bedfordshire Libraries have the ability to request any book or journal article published, either from our own stock, local library services in the East of England via the regional catalogue or the British Library. This means that you can request anything that has been published and receive it in your inbox (journal articles) or as a 4-week physical loan (books).


If you have Discovery?

Hospital Staff at Luton and Bedford, GPs and CCG staff can request Interlibrary Loans directly from your Discovery Service.

Search the service for any journal or book that you require, and click the 'Request Interlibrary Loan' or 'Request from Library' buttons if it is not available. Fill out the contact form and the supporting library service will receive an automated request to supply the book or journal article.

We ask that you search your Discovery Service before requesting an ILL, as the library team has many daily requests and we will note if it was available via the service. If you have lost or forgotten your Athens Account for accessing Discovery please contact your local administrator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


If you don't have Discovery?

Community and Public Health staff can request an Interlibrary Loan from your local library service at this link


How much does this cost?

The service is free and all costs are met by your local library service (public health staff may incur a charge), however, we reserve the right to rarely not supply very rare or expensive texts. You will require a library account for book loans and may have to collect book titles from your local library, although postage can be arranged for smaller items.


I am a university student on placement at a Hospital or Community Healthcare Provider, do I have access?

We ask that you request from your University Library first, and us if they are unable to supply.


Service Standards

Books can take up to two days to arrive if they are held locally, or up to a week if we have to order from the British Library or a regional library. Journal Articles usually are supplied between 2 and 24 hours later (working days only) but can take longer if it is an older or rare text. If a piece of published research is directly required for patient care, we can request a rush ILL, please do this by contacting your library service by phone.