The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Library Express

Library Express is a service where the UMass Amherst Interlibrary Loan unit mails regularly circulating books from the University Libraries to the home address of current students and current or retired faculty and staff. There is no charge for this service.

COVID-19 Library Express FAQs

Library Express is currently active as of June 29th 2020.

We are temporarily offering to mail items from other libraries, including Five College libraries and beyond. When possible, we ask that you use the Contactless Pickup option instead of Library Express.

We will mail books to UMass patrons anywhere in the United States, including those within the Pioneer Valley. Please make sure the address on your account is up to date.

Many books in our collections are available digitally through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Services (ETAS) at https://www.hathitrust.org. When there is a HathiTrust ETAS option for a book, availability will display as "HathiTrust" in the catalog and in Discover, and the catalog record will have a direct link to view it. Instructions for accessing HathiTrust ETAS books are available here.  When books are available through HathiTrust ETAS, we cannot share our physical copy without losing digital access to all ETAS materials for all users. For this reason, we ask that patrons use HathiTrust directly when possible. 

We are working with limited on site staff in order to follow EH&S safety protocol. Thank you for your patience, and for keeping your requests for physical materials to essential items for now.

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, and check the box “I would like this mailed to me and confirm that the address on my account is up to date.”

We are temporarily expanding this service to send materials from other libraries. To take advantage of this option, make sure that the loan delivery method on your ILL account is set to Mail to Address, and that you check the box “I would like this mailed to me and confirm that the address on my account is up to date" when placing your request.

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

We are not offering to mail items internationally at this time because it currently 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 to mail it back to us.

If you are currently outside of the United States, we can 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.

What materials are eligible for this service?

We can deliver 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.

At this time, we are also temporarily expanding this service to include 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 media (CDs, DVDs or Microfilm/fiche), normally non-circulating materials such as those designated as "Reference", or materials from Reserve.

We cannot deliver any materials with digital access through HathiTrust's Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) because if we did, we would lose digital access to all ETAS materials for all users. For this reason, we ask that patrons use HathiTrust directly when possible. When there is a HathiTrust ETAS option for a book, availability will display as "HathiTrust" in the catalog and in Discover, and the catalog record will have a direct link to view it. Instructions for accessing HathiTrust ETAS books are available here.

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. Under normal circumstances, we only deliver to those who live outside of the Pioneer Valley region, and ask that anyone who requires an exception contact us at ill@library.umass.edu. During the COVID-19 crisis, we will 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 with a tracking number 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.

During the COVID-19 crisis, mail may be delayed. 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 at: https://mylibrary.ddns.umass.edu/login/login.php.

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

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

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.