Vermont Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Code

INTRODUCTION

This code is a voluntary agreement to govern interlibrary loan (ILL) among libraries in the State of Vermont. Correlated with the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, approved by the Board of Directors, Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association, January 2001, this local code is intended to promote a liberal ILL policy among Vermont libraries. It is based on the premise that lending among libraries for the use of any individual in the State of Vermont is in the public interest and should be encouraged by all librarians. ILL service is essential to libraries of all types and sizes to expand the range of materials available to users. ILL should, however, serve as an adjunct to, not a substitute for, collection development.

ILL service is provided to all users regardless of the reason for the request or the age, gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, economic status, disability, or the religious or political beliefs of the user.

CODE

1.0 Definition

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library. “Material” includes books, audiovisual materials and other returnables as well as copies of journal articles, book chapters, excerpts, and other nonreturnable items.

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of ILL as defined in this code is to obtain, upon request from a library user, material not available in the user’s local library. Through ILL, libraries of all types and sizes share their resources so that a relatively few libraries are not overburdened.

3.0 Scope

ILL is based on the principle of mutual exchange of both original materials and copies among libraries. This code is intended to provide guidelines for that exchange among libraries in Vermont.

4.0 Responsibilities of the Requesting Library

4.1 The requesting library should establish, maintain, and make available to its users an interlibrary borrowing policy.

4.2 The requesting library is expected to participate fully in the interlibrary loan system, making its holdings known to other libraries through a union catalog and/or a web based catalog. The requesting library should be conscious of the types of materials it is willing to supply and request similar types of materials, supplying as freely as it requests.

4.3 As required by the Vermont law, 1 V.S.A. sec. 317(b)(19), it is the responsibility of the requesting library to ensure the confidentiality of the user. Interlibrary loan transactions, like circulation transactions, are confidential library records. However, it is not a violation of this code to include a user’s name on a request submitted to a supplier.

4.4 Some requesting libraries may permit users to initiate online ILL requests that are sent directly to potential supplying libraries. The requesting library assumes full responsibility for these user-initiated transactions.

4.5 The requesting library is responsible for the correct use of ALA forms and/or appropriate automated system protocols for requesting. The requesting library should describe all requested material as completely and accurately as possible, following accepted bibliographic practice. When the library is unable to appropriately describe requested material, the library should forward the request to the Vermont Department of Libraries central interlibrary loan office (DOL ILL) for assistance.

4.6 Prior to sending a request, the requesting library should identify libraries that own the requested material. Whenever possible, the requesting library should check and adhere to the policies of potential supplying libraries. When the library is unable to identify an owning library, the library should forward the request to DOL ILL for assistance.

4.7 Whenever possible, the requesting library should transmit interlibrary loan requests electronically. The requesting library may place each request with only one library at a time.

4.8 The requesting library is required to check its automated system for ILL messages according to the mandates of the system provider (e.g. VALS). The requesting library should respond promptly to all ILL messages.

4.9 The requesting library must comply with the U.S. copyright law and its accompanying guidelines.

4.10 The requesting library is responsible for borrowed material from the time it leaves the supplying library until it has been returned and received by the supplying library. This includes all material shipped directly to and/or returned by the user. If damage or loss occurs, the requesting library is responsible for compensation or replacement in a timely manner and in accordance with the preference of the supplying library. The requesting library is responsible for any agreed upon supplying library fees.

4.11 The requesting library is responsible for honoring the due date and enforcing any use restrictions specified by the supplying library. The due date is defined as the date the material is due to be checked-in at the supplying library.

4.12 The requesting library should request a renewal before the item is due. If the supplying library does not respond, the requesting library may assume that a renewal has been granted extending the due date by the same length of time as the original loan.

4.13 All borrowed material is subject to recall. The requesting library should respond immediately if the supplying library recalls an item.

4.14 The requesting library should package materials to prevent damage in shipping and should comply with any special instructions stated by the supplying library. The requesting library should absorb all return shipping costs.

4.15 Requesting libraries should keep current, detailed, written accounts of their ILL procedures so that, whenever possible, requesting library backup staff can cover any ILL staff absences.

4.16 The requesting library is responsible for following the provisions of this code. Disregard for any provision may be reason for suspension of service by a supplying library. Libraries should contact DOL ILL when code compliance is in question.

5.0 Responsibilities of the Supplying Library

5.1 The supplying library should establish, maintain, and make available to borrowing libraries an interlibrary lending policy.

5.2 The supplying library should consider filling all requests for material regardless of format, but has the right to determine what material will be supplied on a request-by-request basis. The supplying library is encouraged to lend materials that readily circulate to its own patrons. A supplying library, however, is under no obligation to fill requests that are incomplete or inaccurate and may return such requests to the requesting library.

5.3 The supplying library is required to check its automated system for ILL messages according to the mandates of the system provider (e.g. VALS). When the supplying library’s circulation records are not available to the requesting library, the supplying library should respond to all requests promptly. When requested material cannot be sent, all supplying libraries should notify the requesting library promptly and, if possible, state the reason the request cannot be filled.

5.4 As required by 1 V.S.A. sec. 317(b)(19), it is the responsibility of the supplying library to ensure the confidentiality of the user.

5.5 If fees are involved, the supplying library is responsible for making them known in advance so that the requesting library has the opportunity to authorize or cancel requests.

5.6 When filling requests, the supplying library should send sufficient information with each item to identify the request. The supplying library should also indicate the due date and any restrictions on the use of the material and any special return packaging or shipping requirements. The due date is defined as the date the material is due to be checked-in at the supplying library. The supplying library should include a return mailing label with each item.

5.7 The supplying library should ship materials in a timely and efficient manner to the location specified by the requesting library. Loaned material should be packaged to prevent loss or damage in shipping. Copies should be delivered by electronic means whenever possible. The supplying library should absorb all out-going shipping costs, limited photocopying, electronic transmittal as available and insurance as needed.

5.8 The supplying library should respond promptly to requests for renewals. If the supplying library does not respond, the requesting library may assume that a renewal has been granted extending the due date by the same length of time as the original loan.

5.9 The supplying library may recall material at any time.

5.10 Supplying libraries should keep current, detailed, written accounts of their ILL procedures so that, whenever possible, supplying library backup staff can cover any ILL staff absences.

5.11 The supplying library is responsible for following the provisions of this code. Disregard for any provision may be reason for suspension of service by any other Vermont library. Libraries should contact DOL ILL when code compliance is in question.

Approved by VLA Board, November 21, 2002 and by the VEMA Board, January 23, 2003

This document was prepared by the following committee members:

  • Chris Burchstead, Rockingham Free Public Library
  • Kristen Hindes, St. Michael’s College
  • Jill Markolf, Warren Public Library
  • Caroline Marotti, Rutland Free Library
  • Vicky Palmer, Union 32 High School Library
  • Nancy Rosedale, University of Vermont
  • Michael Taylor, Vermont Technical College
  • Marjorie Zunder, Vermont Department of Libraries