Interlibrary loan is a service whereby a patron of one library can borrow materials or receive copies of documents that are owned by another library. Interlibrary loan service is essential to the vitality of libraries of all types and sizes as a means of greatly expanding the range of materials available to patrons. Sharing between all libraries is in the public interest and should be encouraged. Library of Rhode Island (LORI) members should make their interlibrary loan policies as liberal and as easy to apply as possible.
Although aiming primarily to define interlibrary loan within LORI, the LORI Interlibrary Loan Code is designed to mesh with protocols and agreements in effect in the United States. Accordingly, this Code follows, whenever possible, the precedents of the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (as adopted by ALA in 1994, revised 2001). In the spirit of that document, this code acknowledges that interlibrary loan should serve as an adjunct to and not a substitute for collection development.
4.02.1 Any type of library material, including digital content, may be requested on loan or in copy form from another library in accordance with existing interlibrary loan procedures. The supplying library has the discretion of deciding in individual instances whether a specific item can be provided, and whether the original or a copy can be sent.
4.02.2 If a category of material (e.g., books, CDs, magazines, DVDs, journals) is generally available to library clientele, it must be made generally available by Interlibrary Loan. In other words, an entire category of generally available material cannot be excluded from Interlibrary Loan availability specifically because of its format type. However, as noted in 4.02.1, any individual item may be excluded from Interlibrary Loan availability based upon item-specific criteria.
4.02.3 The interlibrary lending of digital content is often constrained by vendor license agreements. The LORI Standards do not compel libraries to violate vendor agreements. However, when negotiating vendor agreements LORI libraries are urged to seek interlibrary loan privileges for digital content.
4.03 Responsibilities of Requesting Libraries
4.03.1 Access to interlibrary loan does not relieve any library of the responsibility of developing its own collection. Each library will make every effort to provide the resources to meet the usual needs of its patrons.
4.03.2 Requested material should be described completely and accurately following accepted bibliographic practices.
4.03.3 The requesting library is responsible for borrowed materials from the time the material leaves the supplying library until it has been returned to and received by the supplying library.
4.03.4 If damage or loss occurs, the requesting library will provide compensation or replacement, in accordance with the preference of the supplying library.
4.03.5 Each library will exercise due diligence for the return or replacement of materials supplied through a patron initiated request.
4.03.6 For copy requests, each library will comply with the U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and its accompanying guidelines.
4.03.7 Requesting libraries will honor the supplying library’s loan period, including any deviations from the standard loan period, and enforce any use restrictions specified by the supplying library. The material should be returned to the supplying library at the end of the loan period.
4.03.8 A renewal request should be submitted prior to the end of the loan period. The supplying library will grant or deny the request within three business days. If the supplying library fails to respond, the loan period will be automatically extended.
4.03.9 Loaned material is subject to recall at any time.
4.04 Responsibilities of Supplying Libraries
4.04.1 The supplying library will be as unrestrictive as possible with regard to its resource sharing policies and in a manner that is consistent with its service policy.
4.04.2 Supplying libraries will process requests within 3 business days.
4.04.3 Any conditions of the loan, including the loan period, restrictions on the use of the material, and special packaging or shipping requirements, will be provided by the supplying library.
4.04.4 When filling requests, the supplying library should send sufficient information with each item to identify the request to the requesting library.
4.04.5 The duration of loan is determined by the supplying library's policy with additional time allowed for transit. If not specified, the duration of loan is assumed to be six weeks inclusive of transit time.
4.04.6 If a requested item is in disrepair or damaged, the supplying library should include a condition note when sending the item.
4.05.1 Interlibrary loan transactions are confidential.
4.05.2 Library staff are responsible for safeguarding confidentiality of patron information. Library staff must adhere to state laws regarding the confidentiality of information identifying individuals who borrow library materials. (See Rhode Island General Law § 11-18-32)
4.05.3 Library staff should not publicly divulge the identity of the individual borrowing the material if a patron name is provided.
4.05.4 Library staff must maintain patron confidentiality when posting requests for assistance or using the text of interlibrary loan requests as procedural examples.
4.05.5 Each library must have a policy that follows all laws regarding retention of interlibrary loan records.
4.06.1 No library will charge another library an interlibrary loan transaction fee.
4.06.2 A supplying library will not charge a requesting library overdue fines.