Guidelines for the Interlibrary Loan of Audiovisual Formats

Final Draft, January 1998


These guidelines are intended for use by libraries and other agencies that provide loans of audiovisual material in all formats to fill study, research and information needs. Audiovisual materials include, but are not limited to videotapes, videodiscs, multimedia CD ROMs, audiotapes, compact discs, records, 16mm films, 35mm slides, realia and photographs.

Generally these guidelines are based on the National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States 1993. However since audiovisual formats need closer definitions in some areas, this document was created.

1.0 Basic Principles

  • 1.1 Audiovisual materials should be lent to other libraries and agencies as freely as possible and in a manner that insures that they are protected from loss and damage.

  • 1.2 The library or agency that lends the material can decide whether or not to loan the requested item, but the decision should be based on an item by item basis and not restricted by broad categories (e.g. time in the collection, format, date of the production, price, etc.)

  • 1.3 It is not expected that items that are rare or have special copyright or other legal restrictions that prohibit their circulation will be lent.

  • 1.4 It is not expected that items that are high use at the time of request within the supplying institution will be lent.

  • 1.5 There should be commitment to lend materials on a broader scale than regional or consortium commitments that already are in place.

  • 1.6 Audiovisual materials that are of a rare and unique nature should follow the ACRL Guidelines For the Loan of Rare and Unique Materials.

  • 1.7 The Interlibrary Lending (ILL) department of the requesting and supplying agencies will handle the loan request in collaboration with the audiovisual division and/or person in charge of requested audiovisual materials.

2.0 Responsibilities for Shipping and Handling Borrowed Materials

  • 2.1 All materials should be properly insured for their replacement value when they are shipped. The requesting institution is responsible for them from the time they leave until the time they are returned to the supplying institution.

  • 2.2 The supplying institution is responsible for properly packing the borrowed materials in appropriate shipping containers and packaging to protect them from becoming damaged. It must be sure that all parts of the material are actually present in their correct container and not damaged before they are shipped to the requesting institution. The requesting institution is responsible for returning the material in the same condition as received, using appropriate shipping containers and packaging that will protect the materials from being damaged and making sure that all parts of the material are actually present in their correct container and that they are not damaged before they are shipped.

  • 2.3 If materials are lost or damaged, the cost of repair, replacement or other compensation rests with the requesting institution.

  • 2.4 If time or other factors demand, the supplying institution can indicate an alternative method of delivery such as the use of overnight mail or courier delivery services. This should be communicated to the requesting institution.

  • 2.5 If alternative methods are to be employed, the requesting institution must agree to return the materials by using the same method of delivery.

  • 2.6 Arrangements for alternative delivery services must be made through the ILL department

3.0 Responsibilities of Requesting Institutions

The requesting institution must meet the following standards before the loan can be made:

  • 3.1 It must provide a proper method of tracking the circulated item and a clearly stated circulation policy for them.

  • 3.2 It must provide proper security, storage and care for loaned items while they are at their institution and being used by their institutions patrons.

  • 3.3 It must provide proper packaging to protect materials when shipping them. (i.e. padded mailing bags, cardboard or plastic shipping cases)

  • 3.4 It must provide proper insurance when shipping materials.

When making a loan request the requesting institution's responsibilities are:

  • 3.5 Requesting institution must agree to the criteria specified above and to those in these guidelines. Failure to do so will result in future requests for loans being denied.

  • 3.6 Requests for loans should go to circulating collections before they go to non-circulating collections. Justifications must be given for loans from non-circulating collections.

  • 3.7 If a patron needs long term use or large quantities of materials housed in a non-circulating collection or if the supplying institution with this collection is not far away, the patron should be encouraged to go to supplying institution for on site use of the materials. The supplying institution should grant or permit this patron access to the collection upon the request of the requesting institution.

  • 3.8 The requesting institution should provide bibliographic information which includes title, a brief description and any other information that might assist in identifying the correct item (e.g. distributor, producer, performer, date of production, dates of performance, dates of release, format, etc.). The original source of the citation should also be included.

  • 3.9 A full bibliographic description that includes RLIN, OCLC or other local bibliographic utility record identification number and call number for each item should be included when possible. When it is known, the name of the department where the item is housed should also be included.

  • 3.10 When it is possible to make a legal duplicate, the request should indicate that a copy is acceptable and what format is needed.

  • 3.11 When more than one type of format of a title exists, the request should indicate whether or not another format of the material can be substituted for the one specified.

Materials on loan to the requesting institution should be handled in the following manner:

  • 3.12 Patrons will be reminded that the U.S. copyright laws concerning such issues as duplication, exhibition and distribution must be strictly followed as they pertain to the materials on loan. They should also be reminded of the need to protect the items from damage.

  • 3.13 The loan period for materials will be established by the supplying institution. Requests to renew materials should be submitted in advance of the original due date. Materials should be returned on time.

  • 3.14 If special handling or regulations must be administered with the material, the requesting institution must insure that they are accomplished.

4.0 Responsibilities of Supplying Institutions

  • 4.1 Institutions receiving requests should be as generous as possible without denying service to their own users.

  • 4.2 The person responsible for the material should consider each request on a case by case basis.

  • 4.3 A request for a loan should be responded to within five working days.

  • 4.4 The supplying institution is responsible for defining any special copyright, viewing or listening or other handling conditions connected with the material to be loaned.

  • 4.5 The loan period and volume of materials lent are defined by the supplying institution.

  • 4.6 In cases in which copyright is not an issue and a request can be best fulfilled by making a copy, supplying institutions are expected to provide copies at a cost comparable to what is standard to reproduce the piece.

  • 4.7 The supplying institution can request that copies be returned. Ordinary practice will be not to return copies unless they are marked as loans.

  • 4.8 If a loan is refused, a specific reason should be given (e.g. rarity, copyright restrictions, etc.) Format alone is not a sufficient reason.

  • 4.9 The supplying institution can select the method of shipping to and from the requesting institution. If the charge for shipping and insurance is beyond the standard ILL charge, the supplying institution must notify the requesting institution of any additional charges and the requesting institution must agree to pay them.

This document is endorsed by:

  • ACRL Arts Executive Committee
  • ACRL Arts Dance Librarians Committee
  • ACRL Media Resources Committee
  • ALA AV Committee
  • RUSA MOPSS Interlibrary Loan Committee
  • ALA Video Round Table
  • Music Library Association