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LILRC Interlibrary Loan Manual: January, 1976

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Our interlibrary loan program is based on the premise that lending among libraries for the benefit of individuals in Nassau and Suffolk counties is in the public interest and should be encouraged. It is impossible for any one library to be self-sufficient, and interlibrary borrowing and lending is regarded by the libraries participating in this program as essential to library service.

It is the policy of the Council that the routines of borrowing and lending are simplified as much as possible consistent with the protection of material. Every effort is made to emphasize speed and to base the service on a spirit of cooperation and trust among participating libraries.

What follows comprise the procedures and standards that have developed gradually and voluntarily in our area—this is what works for us. Changes may be introduced as the need arises.

What may be borrowed

It is recognized that interlibrary borrowing does not relieve any library of the responsibility for developing its own collection. Each library should provide the bulk of materials needed by its users for purposes of study, instruction, information and research.

The borrowing library should make every effort to exhaust its own resources before turning to interlibrary loan. It should also screen requests carefully before transmitting them to the Council, eliminating those which common sense indicates would not be supplied.

The borrowing library is responsible for returning loans promptly and in good condition. The borrowing library should respond quickly to overdue notices and is responsible for paying fees for lost books as levied by the lending library. The library should refuse to request books on interlibrary loan on behalf of borrowers who abuse the privilege.

Placing requests

Our network is part of an hierarchical system. Requests we cannot locate in the region we send to the New York State Interlibrary Loan Network (NYSILL) which searches the State Library in Albany and selected referral libraries in the State. The key to the success of NYSILL is that it is asked only for materials not available locally. The network would break down if the major libraries were asked to supply commonly held materials. Medically oriented requests not found on Long Island are transmitted to the Regional Medical Library interlibrary loan network in Brooklyn.

Public libraries submit their requests through their respective library systems, which process the requests through LILRC, NYSILL, or other channels.

All other libraries in the region should submit their requests to LILRC. Most libraries prefer to have local requests handled centrally, and decline to fill regional requests unless they have been transmitted by the Council. In special circumstances, libraries may arrange to deal directly with each other.

Form of requests

Borrowing libraries may find it helpful to develop worksheets (see samples in ) to be used by the reader and the librarian in preparing the interlibrary loan request, indicating all the items we need to know.

Requests may be submitted on LILRC interlibrary loan forms which we supply, and sent in by mail or by our driver. They may be placed by teletype, using a format based on the LILRC request form. Urgent requests may be placed by telephone.

We ask that you fill out the form as completely and as accurately as possible, including author's full first name. Supply all the information you have been able to elicit from your patron, as well as all you have been able to glean from bibliographic sources to complete the request. The more information you give us the more likely we are to locate the material you need—and the more quickly.

Try to develop techniques for drawing from your reader as much as he knows about the item he is seeking and the source of the citation. He must have some reason for believing the item exists, and we should be able to pass this information on to the potential lending library.


Check as far as possible to verify the accuracy of the information the reader gives you. We trust that you will verify citations as completely and as accurately as your resources will allow.

The ALA and NYSILL manuals (see ) both contain a listing of standard bibliographic tools and sources of verification. Verification sources not found in the standard lists should be cited in full. Remember that reference tools and abbreviations familiar to you may not be known to the librarian trying to fill the request. Please give full citation of the source of verification, including date, volume, series, and the page on which verification was found. That is, not just "NUC," but "NUC, 1968-72, 25:478." In a request for a periodical article, both the title of the periodical and the location of the article should be verified, and both sources of verification should be given.

If you cannot verify the item in a standard bibliographic tool, please supply a complete citation to the source of reference, including author's full name, publisher, date, and page of citation.

When libraries are unable to verify requests completely because their bibliographic resources and staff are severely limited, we will try to verify the information and to locate the item. If a request is hopelessly inadequate, with vital information missing or with incomprehensible abbreviations, we will return it for clarification....