Overview & Best Practices

Overview of Interlibrary Loan

  • Participation in interlibrary loan (ILL) is available to all Kansas libraries.
  • Lending among libraries of all types for the use of an individual is in the public interest and should be encouraged.
  • Interlibrary borrowing should be no substitute for the development of adequate collections based on the needs of the library's area of service.
  • No library should depend upon another to supply the normal needs of its clientele except under special agreement for such service.
  • It is not for librarians to judge the importance of materials requested by a user so long as such requests fall within the broad parameters of library service. Librarians should attempt to obtain such materials even if not appropriate for the collection of the requesting library.
  • Libraries should adhere to the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (2016), the Kansas Best Practices for Interlibrary Loan outlined below, and governing principles of any consortia (such as OCLC and KICNET) to which they belong.
  • These codes are not intended to supplant more liberal agreements existing between groups of libraries within the State of Kansas.

Governance of ILL in Kansas

  • The KIC (Kansas ILL Circuit) Council has the authority to establish policy for ILL in Kansas, in accordance with their bylaws.
  • A library becomes a voting member of the KIC Council by signing the KICNET Membership Agreement.
  • The KIC Council, or a committee from its membership, in cooperation with the Kansas State Library, will develop, review, and revise sufficient statistical gathering mechanisms to accurately gauge statewide resource sharing activity.
  • The Kansas ILL Board of Directors (KILBD) is responsible for convening and running KIC Council meetings, studying policy recommendations, dealing with policy issues and protocols, and coordinating ILL training.
  • The KILBD Continuing Education Committee will coordinate ILL continuing education in cooperation with the regional library systems, the Kansas State Library, and other groups.

Best Practices for Requesting Libraries

  • Search and fill requests locally whenever possible before requesting through ILL. Items that your library owns, but are not available, should generally not be requested on ILL.
  • Use electronic methods such as KICNET or OCLC whenever possible.
  • For mail or fax requests, use the ALA ILL Request Form and enclose a mailing label.
  • Phone or email requests should be used only when the supplying library has indicated in advance that they accept such requests.
  • Materials in high demand should be considered for purchase or lease before requesting on ILL.
  • Avoid placing undue demands on any one library. When placing requests, use the following hierarchy, in conjunction with any special consortia and/or delivery methods:
    1. Libraries within the requester's regional library system, except those named below
    2. Libraries outside the requester's regional library system, except those named below
    3. Wichita Public, Topeka / Shawnee County Public, Kansas City (KS) Public, Johnson County Public, and Regents' libraries (KU, KSU, WSU, ESU, PSU, FHSU, KU Law, and Kansas State Polytechnic)
  • Determine the urgency of each request and clearly note on the request form. When an item is needed within a very short length of time, indicate the specific time by which the item is needed.
  • When requesting special formats, use an appropriate record and clearly identify the specific format.
  • Don't ask for types of material that you would be unwilling to loan from your own collection.
  • Keep in mind that most libraries will not ordinarily lend the following types of material:
    • Rare or valuable materials
    • Bulky or fragile materials that are difficult or expensive to ship
    • Materials in high demand at the supplying library
    • Materials with local circulation restrictions
    • Unique materials that would be difficult or impossible to replace

Best Practices for Supplying Libraries

  • Be willing to loan items that would circulate to local users, including non-book formats.
  • Make every effort to respond to requests within two to four working days.
  • When supplying returnables, include a return mailing label.

Best Practices for All Libraries

  • Keep your library's ILL information up-to-date in appropriate policy areas such as the KICNET Participant Record and the OCLC Policies Directory.
  • Assign sufficient staff time to ILL to handle normal borrowing and lending activity. Have backup staff available if those with primary responsibility for ILL are unavailable.
  • Inform your regional library system center or the State Library when a new person is responsible for handling ILL.
  • Subscribe to appropriate ILL discussion lists such as KANILL-L, ILL-L, etc.
  • Attend KIC Council meetings.
  • Attend ILL continuing education events whenever possible.
  • Refer any questions to your regional library system center or the Statewide Services Division at the State Library.

Additional Information

This document is a merger of the following documents:

  • Kansas Interlibrary Loan Code (1994)
  • KIC Council Policies for Cooperative Resource Sharing (1992)
  • Kansas Protocols for Cooperative Resource Sharing (1999)