Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States With Explanatory Text


Prepared by the Interlibrary Loan Committee, Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), 1994, revised 2001. Revised by the Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee, Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS) 2008, 2015, and 2023. Approved by RUSA Board June 13, 2023.


The Reference and User Services Association, acting for the American Library Association in its adoption of this code, recognizes that the sharing of material between libraries is a core library service and believes it to be in the public interest to encourage such an exchange. 

In the interest of providing quality service, libraries have an obligation to attempt to obtain and supply material to meet the informational needs of users when local resources do not meet those needs. Thus, interlibrary loan (ILL), a mechanism for obtaining material, is essential to the vitality of all libraries. 

The effectiveness of the national interlibrary loan system depends upon participation of libraries of all types and sizes. 

This code establishes principles that facilitate the requesting of material by a library and the provision of loans or copies in response to those requests.

Note: In 2023, the separate Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States and its accompanying Explanatory Supplement were merged into one document called the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States with Explanatory Text.  This single document sets expectation standards and reflects the shared values of our resource sharing community.


Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States With Explanatory Text (PDF)

Summary of Major Changes (2023)

ALA Interlibrary Loan Request Form (Fillable PDF)