Items Not At MU

It's Not Here! | Issues to Consider | Tools You May Need

It's not here! What can I do?

We can help you get things that we do not already own. Here's an outline of the possibilities and the process:

1. Verify that the Libraries do not own it.

We ask you to do this in order to save yourself, and us, time (after all, if we actually have the item, then you can use it right away!) If you are unsure whether or not the Libraries own a particular item, please ask us for help. Here is information on how to contact us.

  • For journal articles: especially if you used the FindIt@MU link, please understand that sometimes FindIt@MU gives incorrect information, usually because of internet connection problems. Therefore, please double-check with a journal title search in MARQCAT to see if we own the journal.
  • For articles: use the journal title search ... Be sure to search on the journal title (aka source, or publication)!
  • For books: use a general title search.

2. Decide how you want to proceed

Local libraries: check whether a nearby library has it ... and figure out if and how you can get there, and what you need to do to be able to check it out.

Interlibrary Loan: ask the Raynor Memorial staff to request a copy from another library

Ask the ILL staff (414) 288-7257 for advice on these.


Issues to consider:  Time, transportation, and cost.

1. Local libraries:

Milwaukee Public Library:  the main branch of the Milwaukee Public Library system is only about half a mile away (814 W. Wisconsin Ave.), so if the item is available there, you could get it pretty quickly and easily yourself. If you live on or near Marquette's campus, you are eligible to get your own public library card.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries: these libraries are not as close, so you'd have to plan for taking a bus (which takes time and money), or getting a ride (also takes time, and a favor). Furthermore, to check out books from these libraries, you need to get an InfoPass from the Raynor Library Information Desk before you go there.

Other Milwaukee libraries:  some (not all) will also accept the InfoPass.

2. Interlibrary Loan and other libraries (Wisconsin, out-of state, and outside of the US):

Interlibrary Loan (commonly called ILL) is a library-to-library lending service. When items are not available locally, usually* the Interlibrary Loan department can get these for you -- and then you don't have to worry about transportation, check-out procedures, or cost (we absorb any costs that there may be).

Here's more about the ILL service ... and where you submit ILL requests.

Time: what is the usual turn-around time for ILL requests? This will depend on several variables, most notably whether you're asking for an article or a book. Here are standard guidelines (that is, not guarantees) for how much time may be necessary.

  • Articles: in general, it takes 3-5 business days to get articles, but a large percentage come within 2-3 days. By the way, over 90 % of the articles that we receive are in electronic form, though we cannot guarantee that.
  • Books: in general, it takes a week or more to get books, simply because some books come to us through the US postal service (Library Mail). However, within Wisconsin there is also a library van service that runs daily between many libraries around the state; books that are delivered using this van service come much more quickly, sometimes in only 3-4 days.
  • Outside of the US:  yes, we can and do get materials from libraries in other countries! In general, these require much more time to get. Ask the ILL staff (414) 288-7257 for advice on these.

* What do we mean here by 'usually'?
Submitting an ILL request does not guarantee that we can get your item. Although we fill ~89% of requests (2007-2008), that still means that we cannot get ~11 % of requested items. There are many reasons why this can happen: the lending library's copy may be checked-out or misplaced; the lending library may be temporarily short-staffed; there may be errors in the citation; and so on.


Tools you may need:

Catalogs for other libraries: this page has links to the online catalogs at libraries worldwide.

Center for Research Libraries: The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) collects newspapers, journals documents and archival materials to support advanced research and teaching in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Materials from the Center for Research Libraries may be requested by Marquette University scholars and researchers through the Interlibrary Loan Service of Raynor Memorial Libraries.

Milwaukee County Transit System:

  • To go to UWM's Golda Meir Library (2311 East Hartford Ave.):  take the Gold or route 30 bus. Catch this bus on Wisconsin Ave. at either 12th or 16th Sts. Take an east-bound bus to Hartford Ave.
    • Note:  There are two northern loops for this bus route: the Maryland loop and the Downer loop. Both will get you there, but the Maryland loop has a bus stop right by the library on Hartford Ave., whereas for the Downer loop, the closest stop is about a block away at Maryland and Hartford.
  • To go to MCW's Todd Wehr Library (8701 Watertown Plank Rd.; third floor of the MCW building ... use the east entrance): take either the route 10 bus or the route 31 bus.
    • Route 10:  you can catch the route 10 bus on Wisconsin Ave. (at 16th and 12th Sts.) Take the west-bound bus to 87th St., and then walk north on 87th St.
    • Route 31: catch the route 31 bus at Wisconsin Ave. and 12th St., or on Highland Ave. (4 blocks north of Wisconsin Ave.) at 12th or 17th Sts. Take the west-bound bus to 87th St., and then walk south on 87th St.

Worldcat: This database can tell you what books and journals (and other media too) are owned by libraries all over the US; national libraries in some other countries use it also. You can use it to:

  • Verify citations:  for books, this database can help you verify a book's title and author (for example, if you have an incomplete citation); for journals, it can help you verify the title (e.g. if the journal title has changed through time).
  • About checking other library holdings in Worldcat: The ownership information in Worldcat is not always as accurate (or complete) as it could be. So if you're going to make a trip to get an item, we strongly recommend that you double-check the online catalog of that particular library before going there. 

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