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.

Please note that we only have access to materials in the W.E.B. Du Bois and Science & Engineering libraries and cannot access Five College materials at this time.

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 a UMass item you would like in the Five College Library Catalog
  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 mailing address is up to date by clicking "My Account" (under Tools on the left menu)
  4. Place your request by clicking "Book, Film, Etc." under New Request on the left menu. Fill out title, author, and ISBN fields and indicate that you are requesting Library Express in the Notes field

What materials are eligible for this service?

At this time, we can deliver regularly circulating materials held in the W.E.B. Du Bois and Science & Engineering libraries on the Amherst campus.

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 students and current or retired 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 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 return your materials in the following ways:

  • Mail items back to us at no cost by using the enclosed mailing label and tracking label (we have recorded this tracking# in case there are any issues, and recommend noting the tracking# for your own records)
  • Mail items back at your own expense; we recommend using a trackable method
  • Drop off at any of the following locations:
      • Book drop box at the front entrance of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library
      • Drive up book drop at the Robsham Visitor's Center
      • Book drop box at north entrance to Lederle Graduate Research Center Lowrise (by parking lot)
      • Book drop box at front entrance of Mt. Ida Wadsworth Library

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 and clicking "Article/Book Chapter" under New Request on the left hand menu.

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.