Eastern Oregon University

Policies and Procedures Handbook

Access to/Use of Library Resources: Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan Service

Occasionally, a book or periodical needed for research is not among the titles available in the library's Sage or Summit catalog system. In such a case, the Interlibrary Loan Service may be able to obtain the material from another library.

What Is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loans are transactions in which one library lends original or photocopied library materials to another library for a patron's use. Interlibrary loan is based upon cooperation among many libraries and is necessary because no library can own all of the materials needed by its patrons. Pierce Library participates in interlibrary loan services in an effort to provide access to needed and timely information.

Note: libraries lend to libraries--never (directly) to an individual patron. The borrowing library remains ultimately responsible for the materials borrowed. While the process is standardized, each loan is a negotiable agreement based on conditions and charges initially stated, within automatically set time limits, by a library able and willing to lend the materials. The borrowing library must fully accept, specifically decline, or otherwise request exceptions to the conditions on behalf of the patron desiring the materials. Honoring requests is not mandatory. Requests stemming from a library known for causing unnecessary inconveniences in identifying and locating materials or returning items overdue or damaged (even though the individual patron was at fault) may in time simply be ignored by potential lending libraries.

Who May Borrow Through Interlibrary Loan?

Any Eastern Oregon University faculty member, student, staff, or valid library card holder in good standing at Pierce Library may request an interlibrary loan.

What May Be Borrowed?

Most printed materials may be requested. Works of limited interest or in limited editions may take longer to obtain. It should be noted AV, periodicals or ephemeral material may be more difficult or impossible to borrow. The United States Statutes stipulates that libraries may freely borrow only 5 articles per year per journal title within the most recent 5 years. Pierce libary will purchase any requested articles that exceed this limitation.

What May Not Be Borrowed?

Ordinarily, other libraries do not lend the following materials through interlibrary loan:

  • Reference or rare books.
  • Materials in great demand.
  • Complete issues of periodicals. Requests for photocopies of articles are usually honored. Photocopy charges are the responsibility of the patron and vary widely among libraries. Library patrons should state the maximum amount they will pay for copies when the request is initiated.
  • Audiovisual materials and computer software.
  • Most theses and dissertations.

These restrictions ensure the lending library's patrons of having access to popular items or basic library materials. Note: Consultation with the interlibrary loan librarian may result in obtaining acceptable alternatives.

Unacceptable Requests

Pierce Library does not ordinarily accept interlibrary loan requests for the following:

  • Materials for mass student assignments. For interlibrary loan purposes, copyright law is generally interpreted to limit each institution to receiving five (5) photocopies from any periodical title in one (1) calendar year.
  • Duplicates of titles owned by Pierce Library. Since interlibrary loans are based upon mutual cooperation among libraries, each library is expected to make no unreasonable demands on another library's staff or resources.
  • More than seven (7) interlibrary loan requests per day per patron.
  • Renewal requests less than one (1) day before due date.

How To Make Requests

Eastern Oregon University faculty, students, and staff may request items directly from the online catalogs; holders of a town patron card may request materials using the book or article request forms.

  • Accurate, complete and timely bibliographic information is essential in processing interlibrary loans (see Essential Information, below).
  • Request forms are available from the office of the Interlibrary Loan Specialist (Library Room 008), at Pierce Library's Circulation Desk, and on-line at the library's web page.
  • Two types of request forms are available: one for books and one for periodical articles. Transactions are performed more efficiently when complete information is provided. Completed forms are best submitted directly to the Interlibrary Loan Office but may be left at the Circulation Desk.
  • The patron is notified upon receipt of the material via email or phone. Interlibrary loan materials are checked out at the circulation desk, or they will be mailed to you and must be returned at your expense. All special restrictions on the material's use must be observed. Materials must be returned on or before the due date.

Essential Information

The following information is essential for an interlibrary loan request:

  • Patron's name, phone, address and need-by date.
  • Author's last name, first name, and/or initials.
  • Complete title of book, periodical, and/or article.
  • For Books: Publisher, publication/copyright date. For Periodicals: Volume, issue date, pages.
  • Edition number/name, if patron requires a specific edition.
  • If requested item is part of a series, name of the series as well as name and volume
  • Name of translator(s) and editor(s), if patron wants titles to which these specific individuals have contributed.


The patron may not have all of the necessary information regarding the desired materials. In most cases, if the author and title are correct, the staff member can assist in locating the additional information. However, this information is often difficult to locate. The patron may be able to provide important clues:

  • Where did the patron read or hear about the material?
  • Is the material fiction, biography, travel, a collection of essays, etc.?
  • If the publication date is not known, the patron may be able to assist in determination of an approximate date.

Time Factors

Loan periods are determined by the borrowing library based on conditions stated by the lending library, and usually vary between two and three weeks.

Interlibrary Loan Fines

  • General circulation (books, government publication, and AV materials): $.25 per day (No charge is made for the first 3 days an item is overdue, but a $1.00 charge will be assessed on the 4th day, plus $.25 per day thereafter).
  • Summit materials:
    $.50 per day per item
    $20.00 per item (maximum fine)
  • Lost item charge: $75.00 minimum plus $15.00 processing fee
  • Damaged material: Charge to be determined by the lending library

Interlibrary Loan Renewals

Renewals of interlibrary loan materials are controlled by the lending library. Any requests for renewals should be made at least one (1) day before the due date.


Pierce Library and its patrons are bound by any restrictions imposed by the lending library. Some libraries require the borrowed material to be used in the borrowing library only or photocopying may be prohibited. Some libraries require the reader's signature for unpublished dissertations. The borrower should not allow others to use materials secured by interlibrary loan unless prepared to accept full responsibility for the material's safety.


Pierce Library does not charge the patron for processing interlibrary loan requests. The patron is responsible for any charges assessed by the lending library up to an agreed maximum. Until such charges are paid in full, the borrowing library will not release the item in question to the patron.

Reproduction of Copyrighted Materials

Copying for interlibrary loan purposes is authorized if it is not done "in such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of such work.

The Interlibrary Loan policy is designed to meet the spirit and intent of U.S. Code, Chapter 17, within the concept of the application of "fair use" for educational purposes. This policy does not apply to audiovisual materials through interlibrary loan; they may be reproduced with permission of the copyright holder and/or the payment of a fee, or with a statement of copyright compliance.

  • It is the responsibility of the borrowing agency to comply with copyright provisions.
  • The EOU library will retain copies of all requests for photocopies through interlibrary loan for five calendar years after the end of that year in which the requests were made.
  • No more than five copies of an article or articles published in a single periodical title may be requested in one calendar year by the EOU library or furnished to other libraries. The same policy applies to copyrighted collections or monographs.
    (Exceptions: l) when items are from a periodical issue published five years prior to the request date; 2) if the EOU library has a subscription to the title but it is not immediately available for copying at the request time; 3) if, prior to the request, EOU has entered an order for the purchase of the periodical title, collection or monograph; or 4) if requesting libraries state that their requests comply with copyright law).
  • All copies made by interlibrary loan must bear the copyright notice on the first page, the following text: "Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (U.S. Code, Title l7)."
  • All interlibrary loan order forms shall include a notice warning of copyright or a check-off box certifying that copyright provisions have been complied with.

Charges to Borrowing Libraries

Pierce Library does not charge borrowing libraries for requests. Due to the staff time required, requests for articles of over 50 pages may be denied at the discretion of the ILL supervisor.

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