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  • Finding Books Help Guide

    Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) & Consortium Loan Service (CLS)


    UDC belongs to the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC). The nine member libraries share circulating materials with each other and have a common library catalog.

    You can use UDC Search to look for materials in all of the libraries' collections at one time, or you can limit your search to any one of the libraries.


    If you find a resource you would like at one of the other WRLC libraries, you can request it be delivered to UDC for you to pick up and check out. CLS requests usually take 2-3 days. If you cannot wait 2-3 days, know that you can also travel to the institution that owns the resource and check it out from them directly. You will need your UDC ID to do this.

    You can call before you visit the library to ask them to place the book on hold for you. They won’t always be able to, but you can ask.

    For more on CLS, click the link below.


    If a resource is not available at UDC or through the WRLC, you can request it through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). ILL requests can come from libraries around the world so they can take longer.

    Article and book chapter requests will be delivered electronically, so they can be faster, but we cannot guarantee the turn around time. Books must be mailed, and generally take about 2 weeks to arrive.

    It can be confusing to know whether to use Consortium Loan Service or Interlibrary Loan.

    Generally, articles aren't available via CLS, so you will need to use ILL. For books, use CLS when available, and ILL if the book isn't available via CLS.

    For more information on how to submit an ILL request:

    Local Libraries

    DC Public Library (DCPL)

    You can use your UDC ID to get a DCPL library card at any DCPL branch. A DCPL card allows you to check out books, and access their online databases, including but not limited to archival newspapers databases and, which provides video tutorials for a wide range of technologies. The public library also has limited free printing. Once you have a DCPL card, you’ll also be able to reserve study rooms at DCPL branch libraries.

    Library of Congress

    Anyone can obtain a Reader Identification Card at the Library of Congress. While it doesn’t grant borrowing privileges, you can view items from their extensive collection there on site. Search their website to see if you can access resources you are looking for.

    Google Books

    Google Books provides digital access to millions of books, many of which were gathered from the largest research libraries in the United States and abroad. Not all content is available full-text due to copyright restrictions.

    Learn more about Google Books: