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Frequently Asked Questions about LORI Standards

What should be included in an interlibrary loan service policy?
What should be included in a service policy?
What is the difference between a policy and a procedure?
Is a LORI library required to make materials in special collections available through interlibrary loan?
Is a LORI library required to make Kindles, iPads or other tablets available through interlibrary loan?
Is a LORI library required to make realia, toys, machinery and tools, and other objects available through interlibrary loan?
Can a requesting library charge fees or fines to patrons who borrowed materials?
Can a supplying library charge fees or fines to a requesting library?
LORI Standards vs ALA standards and which set of standards takes precedent?
Can a library refuse to loan certain types or formats of materials?
How are concerns about loss or damage addressed?
Can a library decline hold or ILL requests for recently acquired or select items set aside for walk-in patrons?
Does a college or university have to loan materials reserved for a course?

Requirements for ILL and Service Policies

What should be included in an interlibrary loan service policy?

An interlibrary loan policy includes information about:

  • Who can submit interlibrary loan requests (patrons or library staff)
  • Which collections are available for interlibrary loan
  • Which collections are restricted (if any) [see LORI Standard 4.02.1-2]
  • If there are charges or fees connected to interlibrary loans (e.g., postage)
  • The loan period for material borrowed through interlibrary loan
  • The total number of items that can be requested

The interlibrary loan policy must comply with the LORI Interlibrary Loan Code(Section 4.00 of the LORI Standards). For a public library, its interlibrary loan policy must also comply with the Standards for Public Libraries.

LORI Standard 3.03.1 An interlibrary loan policy that complies with the LORI Interlibrary Loan Code and adheres to that code consistently and without discrimination and which provides justification for what materials will not be loaned to those outside of the library's clientele. This policy cannot be in conflict with the LORI Interlibrary Loan Code.

What should be included in a service policy?

LORI Standard 3.03.2 A service policy which defines the library clientele and their access to the library collections and services.

A service policy include information about:

  • Who is eligible to receive materials from your library through interlibrary loan
  • Whether or not the library facility is open to the public and, if so, the hours that the library is open
  • If the library facility is open to the public, include information about access to the collections

What is the difference between a policy and a procedure?

The Standards require libraries to make policies available, not procedures. The following information can guide you with the preparation of policies.

  • A policy makes clear how your library will conduct itself in relation to providing a service or responding to requests. Policies are the managing principles that guide decisions.
  • A procedure makes clear the steps that library performs to provide a service and what it requires the recipient of a service to perform. In many ways, the procedure is the policy in action. Procedures are similar to instructions and include: who will do what; which steps need to be taken and in what order, so that the procedure will be correctly completed; and which forms or documents to use in the procedure.

Loaning or borrowing special collections, equipment, and other objects

Is a LORI library required to make materials in special collections available through interlibrary loan?

If materials in special collections do not circulate outside of the library, then a LORI library is not required to make them available through interlibrary loan.

Is a LORI library required to make Kindles, iPads or other tablets available through interlibrary loan?

Kindles, iPads and tablets are equipment and do not have to be loaned through interlibrary loan.

Is a LORI library required to make realia (objects and materials from everyday life), toys, machinery and tools, cooking pans and aids, and other objects available through interlibrary loan?

Libraries are not required to make materials like realia and tools eligible for interlibrary loan, because such items are not standard library materials and resources (i.e., books, CDs, DVDs, audio books, serials), However, LORI libraries are encouraged to loan them if they meet other criterial for Delivery services. (What Can Be Sent in Delivery)

Fees

Can a requesting library charge fees or fines to patrons who borrowed materials?

A library can charge overdue fines to the patron when materials are not returned in a timely fashion or fees to cover for lost items when needed. Libraries may charge fees to cover the cost of mailing.

Can a supplying library charge fees or fines to a requesting library?

A library can invoice or stipulate a replacement plan to a requesting library for damaged or lost items. Libraries may not impose any fees or overdue fines on other LORI libraries.

LORI Standards 4.03 Responsibilities of Requesting 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.

LORI Standards 4.06 Fees
  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.

LORI Standards vs ALA Standards and which set of standards takes precedent?

LORI libraries certify that they are abiding by LORI Standards, not ALA codes or guidelines. For all LORI member libraries, the ILL Code, Section 4.00 of the LORI Standards, takes precedence over the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States prepared by the ALA Reference and User Services Association.

LORI Standards, 4.00 LORI Interlibrary Loan Code
  4.01 Introduction
. . . 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). . . .

Restricting Collections of Library Materials

Can a library refuse to loan certain types or formats of materials?

Numerous questions related to LORI Standards, ILL Code Sections 4.02.1 – 4.02.2 are asked. The intent of these sections of the Standards is to make clear the fact that no LORI library may refuse to loan its DVDs, CDs, books or serials if those materials are loaned to its own patrons. Such items should be placed in delivery as requested. The intent of 4.02.2 is to make clear that libraries cannot withhold entire formats, such as DVDs, from the ILL system.

LORI Standards, 4.02 Scope
  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.

How are concerns about loss or damage addressed?

Concerns about loss, damage or use of the Delivery are not reasons to withhold the loan of materials. Libraries concerned about damage in Delivery should refer to OLIS-LORI Delivery FAQ for information on how to report problems. Library responsibilities for lost or damaged items is covered by LORI Standard 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.”

Can a library decline hold or ILL requests for recently acquired or select items set aside for walk-in patrons?

LORI Libraries can set aside items as non-holdable that are available for walk-in patrons on a first-come, first-serve basis. These items must be clearly identified in the public catalog as non-holdable. All holdable items must be available, and holds filled, for all LORI patrons.

The same criterion applies to ILL requests.

Does a college or university have to loan materials reserved for a course?

Course reserves should not permanently remove materials from availability. Library materials on course reserve may be temporarily removed from the ILL system and be made available once the reserve period ends.