The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Library Express

Library Express is a service where the UMass Amherst Interlibrary Loan unit mails regularly circulating library materials from the to the off campus home address of current students and current or retired faculty and staff. There is no charge for this service. We expanded Library Express service significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are excited to continue this expanded service for Fall 2021. This means:

  • We will mail items from both UMass and other libraries, including Five College libraries and beyond (as long as the owning library has not restricted it to use within the library only). 
  • We will mail books to any off campus address in the United States, including those within the Pioneer Valley. Please make sure the address on your account is up to date and your Loan Delivery method is set to Mail to Address..

How can I use the service?

  1. Locate the item you would like in the Five College Library Catalog (usually takes 2-5 days) or elsewhere (may take a few weeks)
  2. Log into your ILL account. If this is your first time placing a request, you will be prompted to fill out some information, including the address where materials should be mailed
  3. Make sure your loan delivery preference is set to "Mail to Address," and that your mailing address is up to date by clicking "My Account" on the menu bar
  4. Select "New Request" on the menu bar, then "Book, Film, Etc."
  5. Fill out title, author, and ISBN fields

The most important thing is to make sure that the Loan Delivery Method on your account is set to "Mail to Address." 

Why do you only mail items within the United States and not internationally?

We cannot mail items internationally at this time because it takes an extremely long time to arrive (with big differences by country), and we do not have a way to pay for return shipping outside the United States, meaning it might be more cost effective for you to purchase an item than it would be to mail it back to us.

If you are currently outside of the United States, we may be able to help facilitate a purchase of an e-book for the libraries if one is available, or we can supply a limited number of chapter scans. If the item does not exist for sale anywhere and we can find another library willing to work with us, there may be special cases where we could scan an entire item. To learn more about what your options are, contact us at ill@library.umass.edu.

Why don't you mail items to addresses on campus?

We do not currently have the budget or infrastructure to support sending library materials to on campus addresses.

What materials are eligible for this service?

  • Regularly circulating materials held in the W.E.B. Du Bois and Science & Engineering libraries on the Amherst campus. These items will be mailed to you within two business days of your request.
  • Materials from other libraries. These items will take additional time, as they must first be sent to us from another library, and then sent to you.

We cannot deliver Microfilm/fiche, normally non-circulating materials such as those designated as "Reference", or materials from Reserve. We cannot deliver materials the owning library has restricted to use in the library building only. If your request meets these criteria, we will be in touch with you about other options.

Who can use this service?

All current UMass Amherst students and current or retired UMass Amherst faculty and staff are eligible for the Library Express service. We can mail materials to any off-campus address within the United States.

How will I receive my books?

Library Express items are delivered by USPS Priority Express Mail. You will receive an email notification when the item has been processed through our office. 

If your confirmation email indicates the wrong address, please reply to the email as soon as possible with your correct address.

Items typically leave campus 1-2 days after being processed by the ILL office.

How can I return or renew my books?

You are responsible for the safe return of your material by the due date. You can check your loan due date(s) and renew your loans through your account.

You can mail your materials back at no cost to you by using the included return shipping label. Or, you can return your materials to the following locations:

  • W.E.B. Du Bois Library (entrance book drop or service desk)
  • Lederle Graduate Research Center Lowrise book drop (north entrance by parking lot)
  • Robsham Visitors Center drive-up drop box
  • Mount Ida Wadsworth Library (entrance book drop or service desk)

If you have lost your return shipping label or have other library materials you need to return, you can request another label to send your materials back at no cost to you by filling out this form: https://forms.gle/hKscA1hRbRSN3sTY8.

Can I request articles or copies of book chapters?

Yes, all current students and current or retired faculty and staff can request articles or book chapters through Interlibrary Loan whether those items are owned by the University Libraries or not. Copies of articles, book chapters or other pages will be delivered to you electronically through your Interlibrary Loan account, and you will be notified by email as soon as an item is available.

Submit an article or book chapter request by logging into your ILL account, selecting "New Request" from the menu bar and choosing "Article/Book Chapter".

Requests exceeding 50 pages will be scanned and delivered at the discretion of Interlibrary Loan staff, workload and technology limitations allowing. If there are difficulties or delays, we will communicate with you through the email address on your account.

If you have any questions about these services, please contact us at ill@library.umass.edu. We monitor our email Monday-Friday from 8:30am-5:00pm.