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.
The reQuest Interlibrary Loan Code is intended to cover transactions between
two libraries participating in Interlibrary Loan through the reQuest ILL
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Responsibilities of the Lending Library
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.
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
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
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
The user should address questions about copyright to the ILL staff at the
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
For more information on reQuest Interlibrary Loan, contact:
Stephen Cauffman, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator
Telephone: (860) 704-2223 or toll free (888) 256-1222