Requesting Alternative Format Texts From the Library

While the physical services within the library are temporarily suspended, online library services remain available.  Requests for articles and book chapters are still being accepted online, but there may be delays and/or limitations on what is readily available.

You can search for and request books at the library using the University of Chicago Library Catalog. Please note that whenever you are requesting a scan/alternative format conversion of a book that you do not own from the library, you may not keep the alternative format text long term. Please delete the file when you are done using it, just as you would return the book to the library.

Books that are not available (checked out, missing, etc.) may still be requested using interlibrary library loan but there may be delays and/or limitations to what is available. Content published electronically is more likely to be available than scans of physical materials.

How to Request Books

There are two ways students can request library books.

Requesting books through AIM

Use the manual request form in AIM by selecting the class the book is needed for in the drop-down menu and entering information about the book. The title is the only required field, but please include other information such as author and the ISBN if you know it. You can include a link to the library record in the note field. If you are requesting books for research purposes not associated with a specific class, email us and we will add you to a Library Research “class” for these requests. See Using Alternative Format Texts for more information about how to request books using AIM.

Requesting books using the “Alternative Text Request” link from the library record

Students approved for alternative format text requests should be able to access the “Alternative Text Request” next to the holdings information for any book in the library catalog by signing in to “My Account” with their CNetID and password and searching for a book. If you are not able to access this link when looking at the record for a book, please email us at and we can update your permissions. These requests come to us and allow SDS to request scans of the entire book or sections of the book that exceed normal copyright restrictions on your behalf.  However, if you only need one or two chapters, you can request them using the “Scan and Deliver” link and the library will send the scans directly to you instead.

Clicking on “Alternative Text Request” link will open a form with most of the book’s information filled out for you. If you are not requesting the entire book, you will need to enter information about which chapters/sections you need.

The form asks for a “Date needed by”; please keep the above timeline in mind when entering dates and be aware that last minute requests may not be able to be filled in a short period of time.

The form also contains a note field; please use this field to share what class your book request is for when requesting course materials. You should also use the note field to let us know if requests are urgent and when requesting multiple titles, please let us know which titles are highest priority so we can process those first. Requests without information about urgency will be processed in the order they are received.

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