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Borrow from Other Libraries: Borrowing from Other Libraries

Documents2Go (ILL) or Consortium Loan Service (CLS)?

Documents2Go (Interlibrary Loan-ILL) and Consortium Loan Service (CLS) are services provided by Himmelfarb Library to help provide materials that the library does not currently own. If you are uncertain which service is best for you, see the information and flow chart below to point you in the right direction. Further information about each service can be found in the Documents2Go and CLS tabs. 

How do they work?

Consortium Loan Service

Consortium Loan Service (CLS), is a free service that allows our users to request print books that are available within the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC). Materials usually arrive within 2-3 business days after the request has been placed. For detailed information about our CLS service, including how to use the service, check out our Consortium Loan Service Guide!


If you are looking for an article or book that is not available in our catalog or through CLS, Documents2Go (sometimes called Interlibrary Loan) is your best option! Through Documents2Go, we can request books and articles from libraries across the country on your behalf. Articles normally take 24-72 hours to be delivered. Books may take longer depending on how far away the lending library is from D.C. For detailed information about our Documents2Go service, including how to use the service, check out our Interlibrary Loan and Documents2Go guide!

How long does it take to receive my article or book? 

In most cases, we should be able to provide an article to you within 3 to 6 days. Depending on availability and rarity of the article, it may take us longer to receive the article. If a request is taking longer than expected to fulfill, we will contact you. 

Books generally take anywhere from one to two weeks to receive, depending on the library's location that ships the book to us, and the shipping method they use. Because of the unpredictable nature of book requests, we would recommend using CLS whenever possible to ensure a more timely arrival of any book requests. 

What do they cost? 

CLS requests are always free! 

For Documents2Go, we offer 30 requests for free per year to all GW medical, health sciences, nursing and public health students, staff and faculty members. Any additional requests over the initial 30 will incur an additional $10.00 charge. We will contact you to confirm any charges, which you can deny or accept. Rush requests, which guarantee article delivery within 24 hours, will cost an additional $10. In the event that we are unable to fulfill a rush request within 24 hours, you will not be charged. 

My CLS request was cancelled, what should I do now? 

If the book you are looking for is not available through CLS, the request will be cancelled. When this happens, we recommend submitting your request through Documents2Go. 

How to Decide Where to Submit Your Request

Requesting a book be added to the collection

I need to borrow a specific textbook. May I ask Himmelfarb to add it to its collection?

Absolutely! If there is a particular title of a medical text that you would like us to consider to add to our collection, please fill out a purchase request form.If you have any further questions regarding the purchase request process, please feel free to contact Ian Roberts at Please keep in mind, your request may not be granted if it does not fit the criteria needed to be purchased.

Additionally, if you would rather borrow a text book from another institution, you are more than welcome to request the book be mailed to you through the Consortium Loan Services. Search the Himmelfarb catalog with "Articles + GW & Consortium Catalog" selected from the drop-down menu on the search bar. Once you have found the item you are searching for, sign in with your GW UserID and password to see hold, Consortium Loan Service (CLS), Documents2Go & Delivery request options.