Meet The Library: MeL and ILL

Even though Van Wylen Library has 370,000 print volumes and has access to 20,000 electronic serial titles, sometimes you may need to access a book or article the library doesn’t have. If this happens, the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL) and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) can help you out.

MeL GraphicMeL is a service that lends books and media to library users throughout the state of Michigan, using materials from all sorts of libraries including public libraries, university libraries, and state libraries. To access a book using MeL, you can go to There, you can search the catalog for the material you’re looking for, which will arrive in up to two weeks.

ILL is similar to MeL, but it connects Hope to libraries all over the country. A link on the library’s home page ( will take you to the ILL page of the library’s website. There, you simply need to fill out the appropriate form for the material you need (article, book, chapter, CRL, or Video/CD), and the library will take care of the rest. Articles can also be accessed through research databases. All articles are delivered directly to you electronically in 3-7 days, while books and other physical materials will be delivered to the library in about two weeks.

But who actually takes care of all of the things related to interlibrary loan? There has to be some person who makes sure everything works like it should. That person is Michelle Kelley.

Michelle and seven student workers staff the MEL/ILL portion of the library. Michelle actually got her start in ILL when she was a student worker at the library while she attended Hope. Now, as the Interlibrary Loan Associate, she requests all the patrons’ articles and books, communicates with other libraries, and comes up with ways to run ILL more efficiently, in addition to other miscellaneous tasks. She enjoys working with the library staff and students and providing material that will help students and faculty with their projects.

MeL and ILL services are both free to Hope students and staff, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of it!

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