Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

HIS 490 Research: UW Resource Sharing: The UW System Library

Research Guide for Special Collections and the Area Research Center (SC/ARC)

One System One Library


UW Resource Sharing vs InterLibrary Loan

UW Resource Sharing is a free service that all UW System libraries participate in to make up one large and impressive library system for all the UW community. 

InterLibrary Loan (ILL) is another service that is used if an item cannot be found and made accessible within the UW System. This could be a search to find items state-wide, nationally or on occasionally even internationally.

Why does this matter to the researcher?

It's good to know that there are options and that the library will do whatever it can to find items for researchers.

For troubleshooting research requests, it helps the librarians and library staff to know what steps have been taken and with what service in order to follow the request trace and provide the best service.

UW Resource Sharing

When you request an item that is at another UW System institution, you're using a service called "UW Resource Sharing". 

Resource sharing is a service that allows UWL students, faculty, retired faculty and staff to search the catalogs of all other libraries in the University of Wisconsin System and request titles (books, multimedia) not currently available in Murphy Library.

To request materials from other UW libraries:

  • Find the item in Search@UW 
  • Click the link “Request this item.”
  • Sign in using your NetID.
  • Click “UW Request,” verify the information and click the “Request” link.

Materials will be delivered directly to the circulation desk at Murphy Library, generally within 2-4 days. You can also visit any other UW library and check out their materials with your UWL ID card. Loan periods are: Faculty/staff and graduate students: 1 semester; students: 28 days.

To renew UW System Resource Sharing items, please use the renew function in your "My Accounts" window. UW campus policies vary regarding the renewal of items. If you are unable to renew an item through the "My Accounts" page, please contact the campus that owns the item to request renewal.

Example of UW Resource Sharing

A popular research topic for HIS 490 is "Germans in Wisconsin". If we do this search, here is an item that Murphy Library doesn't have access to.


After clicking on "Request this item", you then verify that the item is part of the UW System, then proceed to sign in using your NetID and follow the prompts to submit the request.