This is a really good question, and the really good answer is ... it depends. It depends on the library that is lending the material.
Libraries around the world have perfected the process below to an art. They are fast! However, you still need to allow time for materials to arrive ... it is usually not an overnight process. Generally, please allow a week to hear something back about your request.
The (Simplified) Process
- You submit your request.
- It arrives at a possible loaning library along with their daily load of requests from everywhere.
- The loaning library looks for the item in their library.
- If the item is on the shelf where it belongs, then go to step 6.
- If the item is not on the shelf where it belongs, the loaning library will likely forward the request to another possible loaning library. Go to step 2 until all loaning library possibilities are exhausted. When all loaning possibilities are exhausted the requestor is notified that the request cannot be filled.
- Articles are reproduced and physical items are processed with forms and bookbands.
- Shipping methods are determined (electronic transmission, courier, or U.S. mail) and deployed.
- The item arrives at JCKL for receipt processing.
- You are notified via email that the item is available by either a digital image through JCKL ILL or a physical item on the Hold Shelf at the designated pickup location.
- You actually look at the article in JCKL ILL or check the item out at the pickup location.