Interlibrary Resource Sharing Best Practice Guidelines

Best practice guidelines 2019

As part of the Interlibrary Resource Sharing Code (ILRS) code review the ALIA ILL Advisory Committee received many comments that did not fit into a principles based framework but were never the less very useful to document, share and maintain. These Best Practice Guidelines will change and grow as issues are identified, discussed and shared with other ILL/DD practitioners.

The Best Practice Guidelines are intended to work with the ILRS Code. they provide further information on streamlining work practices or ensuring good communication with resource sharing partners.

Best Practice Guidelines

Both requesting and supplying libraries assume responsibility for:

1.     Libraries using automated systems should update the request as it is actioned to ensure both supplying and requesting libraries information is current to avoid unnecessary calls to determine the current status of the request.

2.      Keep the ILRS entry up to date


Requesting library assumes responsibility for:

1.     Ensure the request citation is as complete as possible and consider adding any additional information in a note, for example the specific volume in a multi-volume set or edition.

2.    Comply with the library provisions in the Copyright Act retaining a copy (electronic or print) of copyright declarations as specified in the Copyright Act within the jurisdiction your library operates.

3.   Check ILRS directory for any limitations the supplying library has flagged such as service levels supported or collections not for loan.

4.     Consider the most efficient options for satisfying users’ requests. Options could include ILL/DD, purchase, reciprocal borrowing, and pay per view for electronic material.

5.     Provide complete contact and delivery details within the request such as email, street & postal address.

6.   Contact the supplying library to alert them to any rush or express request sent.

7.   Approach the supplying library as soon as possible when seeking a renewal, preferably before the due date.

Guidelines as a supplying library

1.   Regularly check for incoming requests or advise requesting libraries if circumstances affect capacity of supplying libraries to provide timely responses.

2.    When using automated systems, if you are able to supply a request, but not immediately, use the action “Will Supply” to stop the request from moving on. This should only be used when supplying library has verified they will be able to supply and within the ILRS code turnaround times, otherwise negotiate with the requesting library.

3.    Where the supplying library sends the incorrect material and is unable to rectify the error. i.e. seek a reversal of the ILL/DD charge, a free interlibrary loan should be considered.

4.    Adhere to the requested service type, i.e. loan/copy and delivery methods, or contact the requesting library if supplying options differ.  Including, checking if a paper copy is acceptable for requests of electronic material, for example where licence agreements only allow post or fax delivery

5.    Ensure that items are delivered to the address given in the request.

6.   May refuse to supply libraries that repeatedly return material late or repeatedly lose material.

7.    Should include a copy of the publication information, i.e. the title page/verso in a request for a chapter or conference proceedings, to assist the requesting library meet the moral rights of the author and correct attribution.

8.   Should include documentation such as a copy of the original request, ILL number or cover page, with the material supplied. For loans include the due date, notification to the requesting library if renewals are, or are not available and a return address label to ensure the correct address.

9.    If unable to supply the request, send a non-supply message with reasons and/or other relevant information as soon as possible.

10.   If clarifying the request or supply condition, contact the requesting library as soon as possible. It is then up to the requesting libraries to respond quickly.

11. Ensure clear pricing on ILRS or the supplying libraries website for copying special/fragile material and/or where other charges may apply.