What is Interlibrary loan (ILL)?

Interlibrary loan is the service by which materials not owned by the Dexter Library can be borrowed from another library. As a member of OCLC, an international organization providing services and support to thousands of libraries, Dexter Library works through the OCLC network to identify holdings and request items from libraries willing to lend various types of materials.

Who may use ILL services?

Northland students, faculty, and staff may request items that are in support of research or class-related activities as well as work-related issues, in the case of staff. For recreational reading and personal interest not related to classes or work, Northland community members are encouraged to use ILL services via the Northern Waters Library Service member libraries (Vaughn Public Library, Washburn Public Library, etc.). Community patrons with Dexter Library card privileges are not allowed to use ILL services unless they are willing to cover the total ILL transaction costs, currently calculated at $26 per transaction.

What may be requested?

Typically, ILL is used to request journal articles and books. Other materials such as AV, dissertations, musical scores, etc. may also be requested by patrons, understanding that there are sometimes difficulties identifying libraries willing to lend that particular format.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for interlibrary loans except that there is a cap for student requests of ten (10) items per academic year. Students who exceed that limit, with the exception of capstone work, will be charged $2.50 per item for additional requests. Students who request items that are received by Dexter Library but who do not pick up the item(s) will be charged $5.00; no future ILL requests will be processed until all previous charges have been paid.

Dexter Library is a member of LVIS (Libraries Very Interested in Sharing), a national group of primarily academic libraries that agrees to lend materials to each other for the cost of postage. If an LVIS library does not hold or is unable to lend an item requested by Dexter Library on behalf of a patron, the library staff will work individually with the patron on how to proceed with the request.

How long does it take?

Depending on the nature of the material requested and the geographic location of the lending library, most items sent via the postal service are received within 7 to 10 working days. Article requests are now generally filled electronically and may be received by Dexter library within a day or two of receiving a request.

How long can I keep an interlibrary loan item?

The loan period and renewal policy is set by the lending library; patrons are expected to abide by the terms set. Borrowed materials must be returned promptly to avoid jeopardizing our relationship with the lending library.  If the lending library allows an item to be renewed, it doesn’t guarantee that it can be renewed. Please contact the Dexter Library about the possibility of renewing your item at least three days before it is due back to allow the library staff sufficient time to inquire about renewing the item.
All materials borrowed are subject to recall by the lending library and should be returned to the Dexter Library immediately.

Overdue ILL materials

Anyone with overdue ILL materials will not be allowed to place additional requests until all overdue materials are returned. Overdue ILL materials may result in a block on circulation transactions at Dexter Library, including checking out and renewing materials. If the Dexter Library has to pay a lending library for lost items, patrons will be charged replacement plus $10. Charges will be sent to the Business Office.

How do patrons request materials through ILL?

Before processing an ILL request, it is expected that patron will have checked item availability in the Dexter Library catalog and subscription databases. Once it is determined that the library does not hold or have access to the item needed, a request may be made. A separate ILL request form must be filled out for each individual item requested.

For books, accurate citation of as much information as possible is essential for ready identification and request of the item—author, title, date of publication, publisher, and edition (if important). Requests for journal articles must include the complete title of the periodical, volume number, issue number (if applicable), year, pages required, and article title and author. Incomplete citations or errors in information submitted will delay the process of acquiring the materials.

Where do I pick up my material when it arrives?

A member of the library staff will contact by phone or email when the material you requested is available. Materials may be picked up at the Circulation Desk. Articles received electronically will be forwarded to campus email.

Are there any restrictions?

Generally, if requested item is held by a Northern Waters Library Service member library, the requesting patron will be directed to process the ILL request through one of the local public libraries, where it is available free of charge.

Sometimes libraries set restrictions on the loaned items, such as having to use the item in the borrowing library. Patrons will need to abide by the lending library’s restrictions.

Because of copyright laws and guidelines and because many libraries generally do not lend the following types of materials, the library staff may choose not to process a request for the following types of materials: multi-volume sets, textbooks for classroom use, reference materials, rare or very old materials, music (other than published scores as no more than 10% of a musical work can be photocopied under copyright law), and entire issues of periodicals. Further, the library will not request a duplicate copy of an item in its collection that is checked out; items that are currently listed in the catalog as “missing” or “lost” may be requested through ILL.

The Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. In compliance with the law, no library or archives may request more than five articles annually from a given periodical published within the previous five years. Library staff reserve the right to refuse to accept a copying request if, in the staff’s judgment, fulfillment of the request would violate the Copyright Law.