What is Inter-library Loan and how does it work?


What is Interlibrary Loan and how does it work?

An academic Library identifies, evaluates, procures and makes resources available to their faculty and students (users) for their teaching, learning and research requirement. Very few libraries can hold every journal, book or research papers required to meet the needs of their users and Inter Library Loans are the best way to meet the requirements of permissible laws.

Interlibrary Loans (ILL) is a practice between participating libraries who establish agreements with one another to share materials to enhance their collections.

Assume that you are a researcher working with a University in Bangalore and your Library does not have access to the research materials you need, but another academic institution may be willing to lend it to your Library electronically. However, the research paper will cease to be accessible to you after the agreed duration of time.

The bottom line is about providing information to users.

What kinds of resources/materials can be exchanged through Interlibrary Loan?

Users can request various kinds of resources; the most common are books or chapters of books, journal articles, reports, audios & videos etc.

How does one receive these loans?

Articles which can be delivered electronically can be received in a couple of hours.   Books and other physical items may need to be delivered via post.

How long can someone keep Interlibrary Loan materials?

The duration of the loan is set by mutual consent. It can vary from library to library.

What is the difference between Interlibrary Loan and document delivery?

Document Delivery Service is the supply of a document to the user, on demand either in original or its copies.  Interlibrary loan ensues when an eligible library borrows from another on mutual consent or on behalf of a user. An Interlibrary Loan is a form of Document Delivery Service between consenting parties under the exclusionary rights provided by the copyright law.

In the Interlibrary Loan, the documents are available temporarily for the duration of the loan. In document delivery, however, copies of the articles are for permanent retention. Document delivery transactions require copyright clearance and at times even a royalty payment to the copyright holder.

What are the guidelines to be followed or cautions to be taken?

Both the borrower and the lender need to follow the copyright regulations. The lender may have to get an undertaking from the borrower, before servicing the request that the requested material will be used only for academic and research purpose and not for commercial gains. Libraries will have to notice of copyright laws and work within the laws.

The overwhelming information availability and the expanded educational/research needs have led to the facilities of Interlibrary Loans and Document Delivery. To some extent, the distance learning concepts have also made this a necessity.

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