UCB Libraries

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Interlibrary Loan Service Policy

I. Introduction

Interlibrary loan is a primary service that supports the mission of the University Libraries by providing access to and delivery of research and instructional materials that are needed to support the teaching, learning, research, and other University-related work of University of Colorado faculty, students and staff. The purpose of interlibrary loan is to obtain material not available in the Libraries and to provide material from the Libraries’ collection to other libraries.

II. Definition  

The term Interlibrary Loan covers transactions between two libraries, as well as transactions between libraries and commercial document suppliers or library fee-based services. ILL is based on a tradition of sharing resources between various types and sizes of libraries and rests on the belief that no library, no matter how large or well supported, is self-sufficient in today's world and the belief that all libraries should be willing to lend if they are willing to borrow.  Interlibrary loan (ILL) is intended to complement local collections and is not a substitute for good library collections intended to meet the routine needs of users.

III. Conditions of Service

The Libraries adheres to the Colorado Interlibrary Loan Best Practices Developed by the Colorado Library Advisory Board’s ILL Task Force (April 2004); the National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (2008); and International Lending: Principles and Guidelines for Procedure (2001).  The Libraries also adheres to U.S. and International Copyright Laws; CONTU guidelines; and any rules, requirements, or procedures pertaining to interlibrary loan activity and confidentiality of records as promulgated by the State of Colorado.  The Libraries also follows the terms or conditions outlined in any consortial arrangements or reciprocal agreements between the University of Colorado and other libraries.

Statistics will be kept in accordance with internal, state, federal and Association of Research Libraries guidelines and requirements.

IV. Interlibrary Borrowing   

This service is offered to University of Colorado at Boulder faculty, students and staff, generally without charge.

Interlibrary borrowing is an integral element of collection development as stated in the national code. Accordingly, the Interlibrary Loan unit will obtain materials not owned by the University Libraries. This includes borrowing items, obtaining copies, and purchasing documents as needed from document suppliers. This service can be used when items are designated as missing from the Libraries' collections, or when items are at the bindery and temporarily unavailable.
Materials which usually cannot be obtained include: recent newspapers not microfilmed; reference books; rare or valuable materials; and some audiovisual materials. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis.

Requests must be submitted in electronic format with as much bibliographic information as possible. The Reference &Instruction Department may be helpful in verifying incomplete citations.
Service will be provided as quickly as possible. Turnaround time varies depending upon the lending library.  Patrons will be notified electronically. Copies will be delivered electronically in most cases. In some instances conditions of use on materials may be imposed by a lending library and must be strictly observed (e.g., in library use only, limited loan period and no photocopying).
Requests for rush service are considered on a case by case basis for faculty and graduate students.

V. Interlibrary Lending 

This service is offered to other libraries which abide by the conditions set forth in the documents described in Section III above.

Materials which ordinarily circulate to library users may be sent out on interlibrary loan.  Holds are not placed on items in use.  Most items are loaned for eight weeks use; some exceptions include DVD’s and journal volumes which circulate for one week. Copies are provided free of charge to Colorado libraries and those libraries covered by consortial and reciprocal agreements.
Materials not loaned include non-circulating items such as archives, special collections and reference.

Requests for items from the Libraries are accepted via OCLC, Docline, email, fax and mail.  Rush requests are accommodated as time and staffing permit.  Lending priorities may be designated based on the Libraries’ consortial arrangements and reciprocal agreements.
Interlibrary lending usually responds within 48 hours.


Approved by the Library Council March 1995
Updated by Council 2/24/10