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Reference Guide: Policy

This guide serves as the home page for all things Reference at Lewis Library. Meet your reference librarians, learn about reference services available to you, and check out suggested resources and guides all from this page!

ILL Policy

Lewis Library’s interlibrary loan polices are below.  For highlights of these policies, please see our FAQs.


Interlibrary Loan Policies for Lewis Library, LaGrange College


I.Patron requests for books and articles

Patrons eligible to borrow:  Only LaGrange College students currently enrolled in classes, faculty and staff of LaGrange College, and retired faculty living locally, may request interlibrary loan materials through Lewis Library.  Alumni/alumnae normally will be encouraged to use their local public library (e..g., LaGrange Memorial Library) for interlibrary loan requests. 

Procedures for requesting ILL materials:  Instructions for patrons on how to make interlibrary loan requests should be available at the reference desk.  Patrons requesting interlibrary loan materials should speak to the Interlibrary Loan Librarian or, if he is not present, another librarian before submitting their requests.  A separate form should be filled out for each request.  If possible, a printout or photocopy with the citation should be attached to each request; if not, citations should be written out accurately and completely, and the source of the citation must be given for articles.   Patrons can also submit requests by e-mail (from a lagrange.edu address) or online through the GALILEO Discovery Service (using the "Request this item through interlibrary loan" link).  Normally requests will be limited to ten books or articles per week (this applies to both faculty and students), and thirty books per semester for students.

Transmission of patron requests:  Every effort is made to transmit patron requests through OCLC the same day they are received.  Patrons will be notified by e-mail when their materials arrive, and will be notified if their requests cannot be filled.  If an initial request is unfilled, another attempt will be made if other supplying libraries in the United States are listed by OCLC as having the material.  Requests are normally sent only to libraries in the United States.  Requests will not normally be made for audio-visual materials, textbooks, pre-1800 imprints, genealogy books (photocopies of specific pages may be requested), conference papers (unless available from ERIC), articles more than 50 pages long, or entire issues of periodicals.  The Interlibrary Loan Librarian reserves the right to make a judgment on whether or not a patron request is transmitted. 

Renewals:  The due date for interlibrary loan books is written on the band attached to the cover; this band should not be removed. This date will be five days prior to the date they are due back at the lending library. Patrons who wish to renew interlibrary loan books should contact the Interlibrary Loan Librarian at least two days before the due date, and renewal will be requested.  If the lending library refuses to renew the book, the Interlibrary Loan librarian will contact the patron (an e-mail, or a message left on an answering machine, will be considered sufficient notification), and the book must be returned within two days, or the fine ($2.00 a day per book) will be assessed.  Requests for second renewals will generally not be made. 

Overdue ILL books:  If an interlibrary loan book is overdue, fines will accrue at the rate of $2.00 per day per book.  There will be a five-day “grace period”; thus, if a book is returned five days after the due date on the book band there will be no fine, but a book returned six days late will incur a fine of $12.00.  (The due date on the book band will normally be five days earlier than the due date the lending library lists in OCLC, to allow time to return the book to the lending library by its due date.)   Patrons returning overdue interlibrary loan books must return them directly to the ILL Librarian or another librarian, not to the circulation desk.  Fines paid should be entered in the Circulation Desk Notebook, and a receipt given to the student.  No ILL requests will be processed for a patron until s/he has paid outstanding fines.  If an interlibrary loan book is not returned within 10 days of the due date, a letter will be sent via registered or certified mail to the patron requesting immediate return of the book.   If the book is not returned within 14 days of the due date, the patron will be invoiced for the retail price of the item, a $10 cataloging and processing fee, and any accumulated fines (but if the book is not returned and the library that loaned the book subsequently invoices the Lewis Library for a higher amount, the patron will be liable for the difference).  Faculty will not be charged fines, but may have their ILL privileges suspended if they have not returned overdue materials, and will be invoiced if a book is not returned.  Interlibrary loan articles need not be returned.

Suspension of borrowing privileges:  The Interlibrary Loan Librarian reserves the right to refuse to request items for patrons who have lost or been repeatedly late in returning interlibrary loan books, have outstanding fines, or have recently requested what is considered an excessive number of items.  Alternatively, in the case of a patron who has repeatedly returned books late but has paid the fines, the ILL Librarian may decide to request books for this patron but restrict them to in-library use.  Requests for articles may also be denied if there appears to be a copyright problem (see below).  Patrons who have lost or have been repeatedly late in returning library books may still request articles, but may be required to pay outstanding fines before the request is transmitted.

Copyright policies:  In accordance with copyright law, Lewis Library will not request more than one article from a single issue of a journal, and tries to avoid requesting during one calendar year more than five articles from the same journal from the previous five years (e.g., during the year 2019 no more than five articles published since 2015 will be requested from a single journal).  Normally, no more than three requests from the same journal from the last five years will be made for a single patron during a calendar year; this may be relaxed at the end of the calendar year, or the patron may wait until the next calendar year to submit additional requests. 

            Reserve policy:  A book requested on ILL cannot be put on reserve or shared by the patron with multiple users.  Articles requested on ILL should not be put on reserve.

            Payment for materials:  Normally, the maximum that Lewis Library will pay to obtain an item from another library will be $10 for undergraduate students, and $15 for faculty, staff, and graduate students.  If the only supplying library that has the item offers to supply it for a higher amount, the Interlibrary Loan Librarian will either consult the Director, or contact the patron to determine whether s/he is willing to pay the balance.  If a student’s requests have accumulated charges of $40.00 or more in a single term or semester, the ILL Librarian may inform the student that s/he will be liable for any further ILL requests during that term that incur additional charges.


II. Loans to other libraries

Provision of materials:  Every effort will be made to process requests from other libraries the same day they are received.  If a request is made for certain pages of a book to be copied, this will be done if there appears to be no risk of a copyright violation; otherwise the library will be contacted to determine whether they want the entire book sent, or the request passed on to another library.

Materials not loaned:  Materials that will not be lent on interlibrary loan include:  non-circulating books (e.g., reference books, books from Special Collections); bound periodicals or issues of periodicals; e-books, CD-ROMs or other electronic materials (we will provide a single chapter from a ProQuest e-book); and audiovisual materials (such as CDs, DVDs, and videocassettes).  Lewis Library may also refuse to lend books because of age or fragile condition.  Interlibrary loan books will normally be lent only to libraries within the United States or its territories, Canada, or Mexico; but scans will be supplied to any library worldwide.

Lost materials:  Lewis Library will normally provide available materials to other libraries without charge.  Overdue fines will not be assessed, but if a book lent to another library is lost, or is more than a month overdue and has not been returned after two overdue notices, that library will be invoiced for the retail price of the item plus a $15.00 cataloging and processing fee.  Lewis Library reserves the right not to supply books to libraries that in the past have failed to return books, or repeatedly returned them late (but will supply articles to such libraries).

Sending of materials:  Books will normally be sent by library mail (unless first class or UPS delivery is requested).   Articles will be scanned and e-mailed as PDFs.


Last updated April 12, 2019


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