Information Delivery Services FAQ

What is IDS (Information Delivery Services)?

IDS is the department within RIT Libraries that borrows or acquires materials for patrons that are in RIT Libraries Offsite Collections or not owned by RIT Libraries. This includes Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services as well as the scanning and delivery of items in RIT Libraries’ collections. Patrons can use IDS Express to borrow items from other libraries, and the RIT Libraries Catalog to request items from RIT collections.

Who can use IDS Services?

Current faculty, faculty emeriti, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students of RIT may submit requests. Alumni, retirees, and community residents are not eligible for IDS services at RIT and should submit requests through their public library.

What can be requested through IDS Express?

IDS Express can be used to request material held by libraries around the world. It can also be used to request a scan of a print journal article held by RIT. Anything that libraries lend can be requested:

  • Books
  • Journal Articles
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Standards and Patents
  • Technical Reports
  • Multimedia

What materials are harder to find?

Although we will try, we may have trouble obtaining items that libraries do not generally circulate, including:

  • Books for Reserve use
  • Reference books
  • Textbooks
  • Rare books, archival material, and other fragile or bulky items
  • Entire issues or volumes of journals

If we are unable to obtain a requested item, we will let you know. We encourage you to work with your librarian to explore alternative resources or alternative strategies to meet your needs.

How long does it take?

Digital files (articles and book chapters) are typically delivered within 24-48 hours, and sometimes much sooner. Items that must be shipped take longer, generally 5-7 days. However, it may take much less or much more time, as many factors affect each request.

Journal articles or book chapters scanned from material in RIT Libraries collections will be delivered digitally via email within one business day. Books retrieved from RIT Libraries collections will be available at the circulation desk within one business day.

You can speed up the processing of your request by filling out the IDS Express request form completely and clearly. If you have a deadline, be sure to add the latest possible date you can still use the material to your request form.

How do I make a request?

Books from RIT collections can be requested via the RIT Libraries catalog. All other books or physical items can be requested via IDS Express.

Articles or book chapters can be requested by using IDS Express. You must have an RIT account in order to access IDS Express.

Tips to speed up requests:

  • Be sure to fill out the form completely and clearly. Incomplete forms take longer to process. 
  • Including ISSN (for journal articles) or ISBN numbers (for books) can speed up the process by automating much of the workflow. Do not use abbreviations for anything that is written out in full in your source. 
  • If the source uses abbreviations, copy them exactly as they appear.

What if I'm missing required information about the item I need?

Inclusive pages are helpful, but not mandatory. Indicate the beginning page number and your need for the entire article (i.e., '94-end of article' or '105-???').

You can also take advantage of our DOI lookup tool on the article request page. Simply paste in a DOI and this tool will fill in the necessary information.

How will I know when my materials have arrived?

We will notify you by email as soon as your materials arrive.

How long can I keep materials?

PDFs are yours to keep once saved to your computer. Note that the original files are deleted from our servers after 60 days.

The due date for physical materials is set by the lending library and will be indicated on the sticker on your book. Make sure to pick up your materials promptly as the loan period begins when the book arrives at this library - not when you pick it up. 

Always return materials to this library. Do not return items to the lending library.

Do you deliver?

Faculty and staff can request delivery of items to a campus office using the Campus Delivery form.

Faculty and staff who are working fully remotely may be eligible to have ILL or RIT Libraries items shipped to them. Supervisor verification is required. Please fill out this form to request shipping and ask your supervisor to verify your status via this form.

Students enrolled in fully online programs can have ILL or RIT Libraries items shipped to them by registering as a distance education student in IDS Express and placing the appropriate request. Library staff will verify the student’s status with the RIT Office of Online and Professional Education.

What about renewals?

For books borrowed via IDS Express: Renewal requests for ILL books can be made by selecting the "View/Renew Checked Out Items" option on the IDS Express Main Menu. Please check the IDS Express sticker first to see if your book is eligible for renewal (not all are). IDS Express will renew your book for an additional two weeks.During this time, IDS staff will be contacting the lending library regarding your renewal; we will contact you if the lending library denies your request. If your request is denied, you will have to return the book immediately; however, in most instances, another copy of the book can be obtained for you from another library. The IDS Express system allows you to make only one renewal request. If you should require an additional renewal period, you must contact the IDS Department at or by phone at 585-475-2560.

Are there overdue fines?

You are not charged daily overdue fees for IDS Express material. 

If you are unable to return an item (lost, destroyed, etc.) you will be charged for the cost of the item. If you have severely overdue items, you may not be allowed to place a new IDS Express request until the items are returned.

What are the alternatives to requesting items via IDS Express?

Current RIT faculty and graduate students (but not undergraduates) may apply for a RRLC Access Pass which can be used to check-out material at many local colleges and special libraries. 

RIT Libraries also provides access to a number of databases that contain full-text electronic journals and other full-text content which you can access at no charge. A Reference Librarian will assist you in using any of these sources.

What about items that are written in a language other than English?

Items that are published in languages other than English will be processed similarly to all other requests. For each request, you will be prompted on the IDS Express request form for your preference of items in a language other than English.

Who do I contact if I have problems with or questions about IDS Express?

For questions about a request, or to have a deleted electronic-delivery article restored: Call the IDS Department at 585-475-2560 (Voice) or send an e-mail to

If you have a problem with your RIT account username/password, contact the RIT ITS via the RIT Service Center, via phone (585-475-5000), or go to Gannett Hall, room 1113.

All other questions: If you don't find the information you need in this FAQ then call the IDS Office at 585-475-2560 or send an e-mail to

I see an item in the catalog labeled “New Acquisition”. Can I check it out?

New Acquisitions can be checked out if you are a faculty, staff, or student member of the RIT Rochester campus community, as can Rochester based visiting researchers. All other RIT affiliated patrons, including the Global Campuses, should use IDS Express to request copies of these items from another location.

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