Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States

Article excerpt

The Reference and User Services Association, acting for the American Library Association in its adoption of this code, recognizes that the sharing of material between libraries is a core library service and believes it to be in the public interest to encourage such an exchange.

In the interest of providing quality service, libraries have an obligation to obtain material to meet the informational needs of users when local resources do not meet those needs. Interlibrary loan (ILL), a mechanism for obtaining material, is essential to the vitality of all libraries.

The effectiveness of the national interlibrary loan system depends upon participation of libraries of all types and sizes.

This code establishes principles that facilitate the requesting of material by a library and the provision of loans or copies in response to those requests.


1.1 Interlibrary loan is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library.

1.2 In this code, "material" includes books, audiovisual materials, and other returnable items as well as copies of journal articles, book chapters, excerpts, and other non-returnable items.


2. 1 The purpose of interlibrary loan as defined by this code is to obtain, upon request of a library user, material not available in the user's local library. Interlibrary loan is primarily intended to provide a requesting individual with a physical loan of a defined duration or a non-returnable copy or scan from another library.


3.1 This code regulates the exchange of material between libraries in the United States.

3.2 United States libraries are encouraged to engage in interlibrary loan with libraries in other countries. International transactions are governed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.


4.1 Establish, promptly update, and make available an interlibrary borrowing policy.

4.2 Ensure the confidentiality of the library user.

4.3 Describe completely and accurately the requested material following accepted bibliographic practice.

4.4 Note any special requirements regarding the format needed, specified shipping address, or use to be made of the material on the request sent to potential supplying libraries.

4.5 Identify libraries that own the requested material. Check and adhere to the policies of potential supplying libraries.

4.6 When no libraries can be identified as owning the needed material, requests may be sent to libraries believed likely to own the material.

4.7 Transmit interlibrary loan requests electronically unless otherwise specified by the supplying library.

4.8 Comply with U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and be aware of related guidelines for copy requests.

4.9 Assume responsibility for borrowed material from the time it leaves the supplying library until it has been returned to and received by the supplying library. This includes all material shipped directly to and/or returned by the user. If damage or loss occurs, provide compensation or replacement, in accordance with the preference of the supplying library.

4.10 Pay promptly any service, replacement, or damage fees charged by the supplying library.

4.11 Assume full responsibility for user-initiated transactions.

4.12 Honor the due date and enforce any usage restrictions specified by the supplying library. Unless otherwise indicated, the due date is defined as the date by which the material is due to be checked in at the requesting library for return to the supplying library. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.