Interlibrary lending


ALIA's involvement in interlibrary lending is led by our Interlibrary Lending Advisory Committee (see governance and structure). The role of the committee is to advise the board on interlibrary lending and resource sharing policy and practice. In previous years, the committee provided advice about the ILL voucher system (no longer operating). It is responsible for the Interlibrary Research Sharing Code and the ShareIt wiki.

Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code

The ALIA Interlibrary Lending Advisory Committee regularly reviews the principles and guidelines in the Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code to ensure that it continues to be relevant, and keeps pace with changes in practice and technology. The latest code, endorsed by the industry peak bodies, came into force from 1 January 2014.

Share It 

Share It - Australia's Interlibrary and Resource Sharing (ILRS) Wiki - is a useful resource to find out more about interlibrary lending.


ALIA ILL Voucher Scheme (now closed)

For many years, ALIA operated a Voucher Scheme for use in Inter-Library lending transactions.

Usage of this scheme among libraries decreased over the years. With the introduction of the GST in June 2000, a number of libraries including the National Library of Australia ceased accepting ALIA vouchers as payment for interlibrary loans and document supply.

During 2011 ALIA conducted a survey of users of the Voucher Scheme, both current and past, to understand the importance of the ALIA Voucher Scheme in the future. One hundred and ninety six responses were received.

The output from that survey indicated that the continuation of the Voucher Scheme was seen as of little consequence to the vast majority of ALIA Institutional members in the following ways:

  • There were only 196 responses to the survey and a significant number of the respondents were not ALIA members. 
  • Only 39 respondents used ALIA Vouchers to conduct loan transactions in any form in the previous year. The volume of voucher transactions was insignificant in terms of the total number identified. Four institutions accounted for 46% of the total value of ALIA vouchers transacted.
  • 12 Institutions rated the ALIA Voucher system as important, 26 as somewhat important and 135 rated it as not important or not applicable. Of the 38 institutions who rated it as Important or Somewhat Important only 26 had used vouchers for transactions in the last year. All Institutions that rated the voucher system as important or somewhat important used other trading systems as well.
  • Of the six transactions systems rated, the Voucher system was the second least important. Only the IFLA system was rated as of lower importance.
  • From 1 January to 1 October 2011 ALIA processed two transactions to issue new Vouchers.

The ALIA voucher scheme was labour intensive to manage and created accounting difficulties for the Association as it was impossible to track ownership of the Vouchers once they had been transacted. Overcoming these issues would require a rebuilding of the Voucher scheme and in an increasingly digital world would need to be a very different service that would effectively mirror existing services from other providers.

The Board of ALIA determined that as a result of this, the low usage rates of the ALIA Voucher scheme and the proliferation of alternative trading systems over the years that ALIA would cease providing a voucher trading system.

  • ALIA stopped issuing new vouchers from 1 December 2011.
  • ALIA voucher holders needed to redeem vouchers by 30 June 2012.

Any enquiries can be directed to or call 02 6215 8222.