interlibrary loan

APL offers interlibrary loan service to provide its customers with access to materials that are available neither at our library nor from other libraries in the State of Maine’s Minerva/MeInfoNet online requesting system.

Interlibrary loan requests are generally filled by libraries outside the state of Maine. These requests may be for books or other materials. In the case of items that don’t circulate from the libraries that own them, partial, limited photocopying may be requested in some cases.

As with borrowing and requesting items through the state’s online requesting system, resource sharing via interlibrary loan allows APL to provide its customers with access to a larger pool of materials than the Library could otherwise provide with its own resources.

Borrowing Materials from Other Libraries

Any customer with a valid APL card may place an interlibrary loan (ILL) request with a staff member at the circulation desk. The Lending Services Department will submit the request to the Maine State Library for processing and will notify the customer when the item has arrived at APL.

Library borrowers may have up to 3 ILL items “in the works” at any one time. This includes items currently held by the borrower as well as pending requests.

Items that may not be requested through ILL are:

  • magazines
  • material types for which APL charges its customers to borrow
  • items that are available through the online requesting system

The Library charges borrowers a standard fee for each ILL item requested, payable upon pickup of the item. In some cases, a lending library may charge APL to fill a request, in which case APL will add the amount of this charge to the standard ILL fee. Upon submitting a request, borrowers are asked to indicate the maximum charge they are willing to accept from the lending library to borrow the item. They may indicate any amount as low as and including zero. If APL is unable to fill a request for the amount the customer indicated, the customer will be notified.

If a borrower fails to pick up an item within a specified amount of time after being notified of its arrival, the item will be returned to the lending library and unpaid charges for the transaction will be assessed to the borrower’s library record.

The date an ILL item is due back to APL will be clearly indicated on the front of the item. Borrowers will be assessed a daily fine for items that are returned after this due date, with a maximum amount charged per item.

If a borrower loses or damages an ILL item, APL will charge the borrower for the replacement amount APL is charged by the lending library.

In accordance with the Library’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy, the Library protects the privacy of borrowers regarding interlibrary loan transactions and will not disclose information about patrons’ ILL requests to third parties.

Lending Materials to Other Libraries

Requests from other libraries to borrow APL materials via interlibrary loan are processed by the Lending Services Department. Such requests may be submitted to APL via mail, email, phone, or fax. Materials are loaned for a standard length of time established for ILL items.

APL will lend to other libraries neither magazines nor materials for which APL charges its customers to borrow.

The Library will not lend materials directly to customers who aren’t registered APL card holders. Those who wish to borrow an item from APL but are not eligible for a free APL card and don’t wish to purchase a subscription card should place an ILL request for the item through their local library. The only customers who may check out APL materials in person without a valid APL card are CMCC students. This is done according to procedures established by special agreement between APL and the CMCC library.

APL does not charge other libraries to fill interlibrary loan requests, except in cases where a request for a photocopy exceeds a predetermined number of pages. Nor does APL fine other libraries for overdue ILL items, unless it is the policy of the library in question to charge fines in a similar situation.

As with library materials circulated to APL card holders, APL materials that are lost or damaged while on loan to other libraries will be dealt with according to the Lost or Damaged Materials Policy.

The Library will not fill ILL requests for libraries that owe outstanding charges to APL for prior ILL transactions.

Photocopying and Copyright

As they do in all their work, APL staff seek to adhere to the tenets of federal copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) when providing interlibrary loan services. Staff will not knowingly fulfill interlibrary loan requests that constitute violations of this law.

Requests from other libraries: Federal copyright law allows APL to fulfill requests from other libraries for photocopies of protected materials in its collections, provided the requests are for a copy of only one article (or a small combination of articles) from a periodical or collected work, or for a small part of a longer, single work. When filling such a request, APL is required to stamp a copyright warning prominently on the photocopy.

Requests to other libraries: Federal copyright law allows APL to submit requests to other libraries for photocopies of protected materials in their collections, provided that, in placing these requests, APL adheres to the “five in five” rule. This rule stipulates that a library may not request photocopies of more than five articles from the most recent five years of a single journal or collected work. Doing so is a violation of copyright law and generally requires payment of a royalty fee.

For a broader discussion of copyright law and its relation to library services, see the library’s Copyright Policy.