Interlibrary loan services for Iowa libraries
A local library buys the books and materials most wanted by its community. Because of limited resources and space, a single library cannot buy all published items, but can often borrow what its customer wants from another library, through interlibrary loan. Iowa libraries are part of a vast network of participating libraries that are willing to loan materials to other libraries.
Iowa libraries can use the SILO Locator and interlibrary loan system, without charge, to borrow books from other participating in-state libraries. If the requested item is not available within Iowa, the request can be forwarded to libraries outside Iowa through the OCLC Resource Sharing system. The library making the out of state referral must be an OCLC member, and OCLC charges a fee for the referrals.
The State Library will provide up to two hundred (200) out-of-state interlibrary loan referrals per fiscal year for each Iowa public library, using the OCLC Resource Sharing system. These loaned items will be delivered directly to the requesting library, for check-out to the local customer. The State Library continues to provide a free in-state interlibrary loan system through SILO and the Locator, and to provide free access for Iowa libraries to OCLC FirstSearch online, including WorldCat, whose online records provide fast access to library ownership information all over the world.
Q: Does my library have to offer interlibrary loan services?
A: Interlibrary loan is an optional service that is provided by most libraries to their customers. Interlibrary loan service fulfills a fundamental principle of library service, to provide access to all information. It is also a required Tier 2 standard in the Iowa public library accreditation program: “#53. (Tier 2) The library provides interlibrary loan services to customers of all ages. The library submits its holdings information to shared databases (such as OCLC or SILO) and participates as a lender and a borrower.” However, interlibrary loan can be an expensive service to offer, and whether to offer it or not is a local library decision.
Q: Can my library limit interlibrary loan service to just items found in Iowa libraries?
A: Yes. This is a local library decision.
Q: Can I charge my library customers for interlibrary loan services?
A: If you participate in the Interlibrary Loan Reimbursement program for in-state interlibrary loans, you agree to charge no more than $3.00 for the specific purpose of covering postage costs. For out-of-state interlibrary loans, there is no prohibition on charging the full cost of the loan, the processing fee and the postage back to your customer.
Q: Where can I get additional assistance for Interlibrary Loan?
A: Contact your library consultant or library resource technician at your district office.