Questions? Contact:

Interlibrary Loan

Log in to FirstSearch

FirstSearch is a fee-based online service that provides access to a wide range of reference databases. OLIS subscribes to the service on behalf of the member libraries of the Library of Rhode Island (LORI). Library staff who work in LORI libraries with a valid LORI account can use the service.

What you can do with FirstSearch

  • Citations and Reference Research: Researchers and library staff can find and select resources in thousands of library collections.
  • Interlibrary Loan: when a citation is found but the item is not available locally, a librarian may submit an ILL request which will be processed by the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse.

Register for a FirstSearch Account

Send an email to David Marrocco with "New FirstSearch Account" in the subject line.

Include the following information in the email body:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • LORI delivery code
  • Library name
  • City, State
  • Title/position
  • Your library phone # & extension
  • an 8-character alpha/numeric password (no special characters)

Account Help

If you have trouble logging in or need to edit your FirstSearch account, email (include FirstSearch access in subject line) or call David Marrocco at 401-574-9306.

  1. Click on  "Log in to FirstSearch" 
  2. Enter your LORI username, password, and your library's LORI code
  3. Click "Okay"
  4. For assistance in searching please refer to the FirstSearch online help. 
  5. Click the item to view the entire record in detail. If this is the correct record, click "ILL" button at the top of the screen.
  6. Fill out the form. 
  7. Comments:  if you use the "Comments" field, please indicate who the comments are for, e.g. Kelley/Clearinghouse,  or reminders to yourself or your staff.
  8. Submit.
  9. Keep a copy (electronic or print) of the request for your records and exit FirstSearch.
  10. The library will receive a copy of the request via email.  
  11. Email OLIS ILL Clearinghouse with the name of the item and the ILL number when the actual item is received.
  12. Email OLIS ILL Clearinghouse when the item is returned.
  1. Check for incoming requests daily and respond promptly.

    (Request should arrive through the library's ILL email account. Notify OLIS if the ILL email for your library is incorrect.)
  2. Verify the availability of the material requested. If available and:
    • the request was received via an automated network, ship and process the material according to local procedures.
    • the request was received via a non-automated network,
      • ship the item with a copy of the request.
      • ship the item with "Due Date" information on the item itself.
  3. If not available
    • if the request was received via an automated network, transfer the hold manually to the next supplying library, or cancel the request if no additional copy is available.
    • if the request was received via a non-automated network, manually forward the request to the next supplying library specified by the requesting library. If there is no additional supplying library, notify the requesting library's Resource Sharing Contact that the item is not available.
  4. Respond to renewal requests within 3 business days. If the supplying library fails to respond, the loan period will be automatically extended.

Refer to LORI Interlibrary Loan Best Practices for additional information.

Select the best method for requesting a specific title or article in this priority order:

  1. Search your local (your library's or automated network's) catalog. If the item is available for loan, place a hold/request and notify patron when the item arrives.
  2. Check if the item is available in other in-state libraries.
  3. Use the LORI ILL Request form to request from libraries found in #2 above.
  4. If the item still cannot be found, go to FirstSearch to pursue your request via the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse.
  5. Contact the Resource Sharing Contact for the LORI supplying library directly if the request is not answered in 3 business days. For FirstSearch/out of state requests, email OLIS ILL Clearinghouse if you do not receive any confirmation in 2 business days.
  6. Notify the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse when you receive and return items requested through FirstSearch.
  7. If you need to renew a LORI item, contact the supplying library at least 48 hours before the original due date. (Request renewals for FirstSearch items through the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse).
  8. To return, pack and label materials accordingly and follow normal LORI delivery procedures (or mail non-LORI items). If the item is from the Clearinghouse, notify the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse.

Refer to LORI Interlibrary Loan Best Practices for additional information.

OSL interlibrary loan service is available to valid OLIS library card holders.


Interstate Delivery Service

The Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) has collaborated with the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) to create an interstate delivery service.  This service enables Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts libraries to send and receive interlibrary loan items across the state border at no cost to participating libraries.

  • Participating Massachusetts libraries: Rhode Island libraries may borrow from these libraries/networks.
  • Participating Rhode Island libraries:  Most libraries on regular delivery may borrow through the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse; lending is limited to academic libraries (except Brown University) and a selected number of public libraries. 
  • Libraries participating with their own OCLC subscription will want to create new custom holdings groups to identify and favor libraries on delivery for borrowing purposes. 
    • Favor these new delivery lenders in your custom holdings paths.
    • Research and create a custom holdings group of delivery lenders in the appropriate state.
    • Consider making several groups based on format.
    • Check in the OCLC Policies Directory.

Use the appropriate delivery slip when supplying and returning items to MA and RI participating libraries. RI uses 3-letter codes to represent each library; MA libraries are addressed to the name of the town, university/or network, not by code. Please refer to the index of libraries in each state to find the appropriate code or library name.

RI supplying libraries and OLIS ILL Clearinghouse users may use the interstate delivery to return items to MA participating libraries.

OLIS ILL Clearinghouse Users: Follow the standard procedures

WorldShare ILL or ILLiad libraries: With each request submitted in WorldShare, leave a note such as the following in the Borrowing Notes: “Library of Rhode Island Delivery ROUTE: XXX” where XXX is your 3-letter LORI delivery code.

Returning Items

  • Make a note to return an item via delivery if you receive it from MA through LORI Delivery.
  • Look for the return delivery slip. Use it to ship the item back. 
  • When you can’t find the return slip,
    • If the item belongs to any MA participants but OCD or MLN, locate the correct slip for the route at MA Delivery Slips. Put the library name on the “To:” field
    • If you can’t find the supplying library from the MA Participants, it is most likely the item was supplied by one of the OCD or MLN libraries through MLS. Ship the item to MLS.
    • Notify Kelley Lima that you returned (and received if you have not done so) the item if you had requested the item through the OLIS ILL Clearinghouse


Public Libraries

  • Incoming requests arrive through the library's ILL email from MLS
  • If you are able to fulfil the request, look for the route and name for the delivery slip in the beginning of the email 
  • Select the correct slip for the route from MA Delivery Slips - All regions
  • Attach a copy of the return slip to help the requesting library returning the item to your library. (Use the RI Delivery Slip master.
  • Send MLS the status of the request via email.
  • If you cannot fulfil the request, forward the request to the next supplying library via email. Send MLS the status (declined, forwarded, or shipped) of the request via email.

Academic Libraries

  • Incoming request are usually delivered through WorldShare ILL.
  • Follow your usual ILL procedures.
  • Look for “Borrowing Notes” for route information and the name of the destination.  Use the MA Delivery Slips - All regions slip template. 
  • Attach a copy of the return slip when supply to help the requesting library to return the item to your library. Use the RI Delivery Slip master.