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Guidelines for reQuest ILL Code
A service of the Connecticut State Library and your local library

Request for Comment (RFC)
Stephen Cauffman, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator
July 3, 2001


These guidelines are intended to provide fuller explanations and specific examples for text that is intentionally general in the reQuest Interlibrary Loan Code. Libraries participating in Interlibrary Loan (ILL) through the reQuest ILL system are expected to comply with the Code using the Guidelines as a source for general direction. Headings in these Guidelines refer to the equivalent section in the reQuest Interlibrary Loan Code.

General Information

The reQuest Interlibrary Loan Code is intended to cover transactions between two libraries participating in Interlibrary Loan through the reQuest ILL subsystem.

The purpose of ILL as defined by this Code is to obtain, upon request of a library user, material not available in the user's local library. The borrowing library is responsible for all requests that it generates and is responsible for making sure their user is registered.

This code is intended to regulate the exchange of material between libraries using the reQuest ILL system in Connecticut. The code does not override other consortial agreements that may be more liberal or more prescriptive. Transactions sent from the reQuest ILL subsystem to other ILL systems, such as OCLC, and transactions between libraries and commercial document delivery suppliers or library fee-based services are beyond the scope of this Code.

General Responsibilities

Collection Development
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is not designed to be a replacement for maintaining an up-to-date collection intended to meet the routine needs of users. A library that receives multiple requests to borrow the same item is encouraged to purchase the item for its own collection.

ILL Policy
Every library should make their ILL policies available in written format. These policies should be available both on paper and, if possible, on the Web. Two policies should be available: one for users that lists borrowing policies and one for libraries that lists lending policies.

Libraries should consider developing a policy statement pertaining to confidentiality. ILL 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 by a borrowing library. Policies and procedures should be developed regarding the retention of ILL records and access to this information.

Libraries are encouraged to make their ILL services known to their users and to other libraries.

While it is evident that some libraries are net lenders and others are net borrowers, the system of interlibrary loan rests on the belief that all libraries should be willing to lend if they are willing to borrow. Borrowing libraries should note that some libraries participating in ILL through the reQuest system may charge for their ILL lending services.

The lending library is obliged to package material to prevent damage even though the borrowing library is responsible for an item while it is on loan. The lending library is responsible for following any special shipping instructions that the borrowing library specifies on a request. If the lending library cannot follow the shipping instructions of the borrowing library, they should either consider contacting the borrowing library to see if they can agree on an alternate shipping method or refuse the request noting the reason for the refusal on the request form. Libraries shipping material by the Connecticar (C-Car) service should periodically review and abide by the Connecticar Guidelines and Procedures.

Staff Training
reQuest ILL training is provided on an on-going, as-needed basis and library personnel unfamiliar with the reQuest system are encouraged to attend. ILL personnel are encouraged to train other personnel, particularly public service staff, at their library on reQuest ILL so that they can effectively assist users.

Responsibilities of Borrowing Libraries

The borrowing library is responsible for providing as much information as possible to assist the lending library and to increase the likelihood of the request being filled. The description should be exact enough so as to prevent unnecessary work on the part of the lending library. The CLN-ILL-L, ILL-L e-mail lists, and other ILL-related lists are excellent sources for the borrowing library to verify and/or locate hard-to-find items.

Copyright compliance
The borrowing library is responsible for complying with the provisions of Section 108(g)(2) Copyright Law and the Guidelines for the Proviso of Subsection 108(g)(2) prepared by the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (the CONTU Guidelines).

The borrowing library is responsible for all charges and fees once the request has been processed by the lending library. The borrowing library is responsible for the fees even if a user refuses to pay.

Currently, the number of holdings in the reQuest catalog decides a library's place in the system-wide lender list. Libraries with fewer holdings appear higher on the list than libraries with numerous holdings. This means that if two libraries own a book, the request will go to the library with fewer holdings before being routed to a library with more holdings.

Loan periods / Recalls
The Deadline date is the date by which the item should arrive back at the lending library. This date is set in a library's Participant Record as Days to Receive and is calculated as 35 days from the day the item is received by the borrowing library. If an item is recalled, the borrowing library should act immediately to return the material to the lending library.

User notification
Libraries are encouraged to contact the user in the manner the user wishes. Libraries should consider encouraging users to use e-mail notification.

Placement of requests
Libraries should encourage users to place their own ILL requests. This will save time for ILL staff and will expedite the transmitting of ILL borrowing requests.

The borrowing library should request a renewal before the Deadline Date. If a lending library denies a renewal request, the borrowing library should return the material so that it arrives back at the lending library by the original Deadline Date.

Responsibility for ILL items
The borrowing library assumes a small risk when material is supplied through ILL. The borrowing library's responsibility for this loss is based on the concept that if the request had not been made, the material would have remained on the lender's shelf and would not have been put at risk. Likewise, if a borrowing library asks for delivery at a location away from the library, such as at a user's home, the requesting library is responsible for the material during the delivery and return process.

While the code stipulates that the borrowing library is responsible, the lending library is not necessarily required to charge for lost material. Although the lending library has the final decision regarding replacement, repair, or compensation for lost material, both the borrowing and lending library should work together to resolve the matter.

The borrowing library must comply with any restrictions such as "library use only" or reduced loan periods placed on ILL material by the lending library. If the borrower cannot comply, they should return the material to the lending library.

Turnaround time
The borrowing library has a responsibility to act promptly on all requests. Libraries should make every effort to process their users' requests on a daily basis.

Responsibilities of the Lending Library

Citation information
The library should make every attempt possible to fill a lending request. The lending library should notify, using Proposed Change and the History Notes field, the borrowing library if a citation is incorrect so that the borrowing library can correct the error.

Lending Policies
The lending library should be willing to fill requests for all types and classes of users and all types of libraries, regardless of their size. Lending libraries are encouraged to lend audio-visual material, newspapers, and other categories of material that have traditionally been non-circulating. While it is not expected that a library will lend items that are rare or have special copyright or other legal restrictions, the decision to loan should be based on an item by item basis and not restricted by broad categories. The lending library should clearly state on the request, using Proposed Change status and the History Notes field, any fees or charges related to the request, as well as any use restrictions on the material such as Library Use Only or a shortened Date Due.

Turnaround time
The lending library has a responsibility to act promptly on all requests. Libraries should make every effort to respond to their lending requests on a daily basis. Should the need arise, the reQuest system can be set so that a library can become a non-lender for a specific length of time such as during periods of library renovation or extended vacations.

Responsibilities of the User

General information
If a user abuses Interlibrary Loan (ILL) privileges, they jeopardize not only their own borrowing privileges, but also the privileges of other users wishing to borrow material. Library users are responsible for adhering to any use restrictions on ILL material by either their home library or the lending library.

Copyright compliance
The user should address questions about copyright to the ILL staff at the borrowing library.

Library users are responsible for any ILL charges that their library passes on to them. Library users should be made aware of these charges before the ILL request is processed. Library users are responsible for ILL items while these items are in their care.

Return of ILL items
Library users are responsible for returning ILL material by the Date Due. If a user wishes to ask for a renewal, they should contact the library where they picked up the ILL material. Should a user return ILL material to another library, either intentionally or unintentionally, the user is responsible for the material until it arrives at either the borrowing library or the lending library.

For more information on reQuest Interlibrary Loan, contact:
Stephen Cauffman, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator
Telephone: (860) 704-2223 or toll free (888) 256-1222

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