Interlibrary Loan Policy

TPL-SER-05_Interlibrary Loan

The purpose of interlibrary loan is to obtain, upon request of a library user, material not available in the Timmins Public Library system.

1.0 Definition

Interlibrary loan is the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library.

2.0 Code

To ensure appropriate use of interlibrary loan, the Library adheres to the terms of the INFO Resource Sharing Network Participation Policies and Standards prepared by SOLS (Southern Ontario Library Service).

3.0 Participation

The Library will participate in the Information Network for Ontario.  INFO is the virtual bibliographic catalogues and Interlibrary Loan System of Ontario public libraries in partnership with Ontario Library Service-North and Southern Ontario Library Service with support from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  The Library will also cooperate with other public and academic library systems across Canada, including the Archives of Ontario.

4.0 Responsibilities of the Library and Patrons as Borrowers

4.1 Policy
The Library shall establish, maintain, and make available to its users an interlibrary borrowing policy.

4.2 Confidentiality
It is the responsibility of the Library to ensure the confidentiality of all patrons.

4.3 Eligibility of patrons who may borrow
Only patrons with a current membership in good standing (with no overdues or fines) may place an interlibrary loan request.

4.4 Requesting methods
Requests may be made in person at either Library, by phone, or online via our website or catalogue.

4.5 Titles requested
Titles in the Timmins Public Library’s collection will not be requested unless overdue by more than 1 month and presumed lost.

4.6 Types of materials borrowed
All types of materials, at all intellectual levels, may be requested on interlibrary loan. Lending libraries may decide to place restrictions on the use of specific items or to refrain from the loan of whole classes of materials. When and where appropriate, copies both print and electronic may be requested in lieu of loan. Copies are not normally intended to be returned by the borrowing library to the lender.

Although all libraries are encouraged to loan all media, types of materials which may have restrictions or be unavailable include:

  • books in current demand
  • current editions of standard reference materials, for example:

-genealogical indices
**On occasion, some libraries will allow reference materials to be borrowed with the condition they remain in our Library for in-house use only.

  • materials in format or size not suitable for loan, for example:

-loose-leaf materials
-pop-up books
-entire issues of periodicals

  • electronic devices
  • computer software
  • eBooks
  • rare, fragile and/or valuable books and manuscripts, for example:

-19th century or earlier imprints
-limited editions
-local history items

4.7 Number of requests per patron
We suggest that patrons adhere to a limit of 4 requests at one time.  Under special circumstances, we reserve the right to make decisions on a “request by request” basis.

4.8 Bibliographic information
Requested material should be described completely and accurately following accepted bibliographic practice.

4.9 Transmission of Requests
The Library will transmit interlibrary loan requests electronically.

4.10 Loan Fees
Interlibrary loans from the majority of libraries are free of charge.  In the case where a holding library requires a fee for the loan of its material, the Library will not pass on any fees to the requesting patron, as per the Public Libraries Act.

4.11 Copy requests
Requests for copies of articles or documents must comply with limits specified by Canadian Copyright legislation. Generally this means that you may request a single copy of an article from one journal issue or more than one article as long as the total number of pages does not exceed 10% of the whole issue.  There is a cost of 15 cents per page on requests for photocopies from non-circulating or periodical materials.

4.12 Non-receipt of materials
A status report may be requested by the Library after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed from the date the request was initiated. It is the borrowing library’s responsibility to check for the arrival of material, once notified of shipment by the lending library.

4.13 Loss or damage
The Library is responsible for borrowed material from the time it leaves the supplying library until it has been returned to and received by the supplying library. This includes all material shipped directly to and/or returned by the user. The requesting library is responsible to report the loss of borrowed items. Any obvious damage should be noted on the request form.

If damage occurs, the Library is responsible for compensation or replacement, in accordance with the preference of the supplying library.   If lost material is not found within the time allotted by the lending library, charges will be paid as quickly as possible.   The requesting patron will in turn be billed according to the schedule of charges from the lending library.  This may include replacement, processing and service charges levied by the lender.

4.14 Loan period
It is the borrowing library’s responsibility to ensure that material is returned to the lending library at the end of the loan period, and to adhere to any loan restrictions.   Loan periods vary from one library to another, but are generally 3 to 6 weeks in length.  As a general rule, the Timmins Public Library will allow the patron a 3 week loan, from the date of checkout.  This will be possible only if this time frame is within the lending library’s loan period.

4.15 Renewals
Renewal, if permitted, must be arranged with the Timmins Public Library before the due date.   If the supplying library does not respond, the Library will assume that a renewal has been granted extending the due date by the same length of time as the original loan.  The supplying library may recall materials at any time.

4.16 Overdues
Overdue interlibrary loan material will result in the immediate loss of privileges to the patron for that service.  Overdue fines for interlibrary loans are set at 25 cents per day per item.  Failure to pay for fines and/or fees incurred will result in the suspension of both library and interlibrary loan privileges.

4.17 Packaging
The Library will package material to prevent damage in shipping and will comply with any special instructions stated by the supplying library.

4.18 Return of Materials
Items returned by users should be checked against any note of condition made at time of receipt, to ensure they have not been damaged. Printed slips that help trace the item should be returned with the material.   Unless otherwise requested by the lending library, the Library will return items through Canada Post.

5.0 Responsibilities of the Library as a Lender

5.1 Policy
The Library will establish, maintain, and make available an interlibrary lending policy.

5.2 Materials lent
The Library will consider filling all requests for material regardless of format, but has the right to determine what material will be supplied on a request by request basis. Microfilm reels will only be lent if we have duplicate copies of the item.  A maximum of two reels will be sent at one time.  If the requesting Library simply requires a quick microfilm lookup (i.e. obituary), Library staff can offer that service.  The Library will not lend reference material, electronic devices or equipment via interlibrary loan.

5.3 Copy requests
For copy requests, the Library will ensure compliance with the Copyright Act of Canada and provide the copies electronically.

5.4 Confidentiality
It is the responsibility of the Library to ensure the confidentiality of the user.

5.5 Requests
The Library will process requests in a timely manner that recognizes the needs of the requesting library and/or the requirements of the electronic network or transmission system being used. If unable to fill a request, the Library will respond promptly and should state the reason the request cannot be filled.

When filling requests, the Library will send sufficient information with each item to identify the request.

5.6 Loan period
The Library will indicate the due date and any restrictions on the use of the material and any special return packaging or shipping requirements. The due date is defined as the date the material is due to be checked-in at the supplying library.  Generally, the Timmins Public Library will allow a 6 week loan period.  This time frame allows adequate time for the end user when considering time for shipping in between libraries.

5.7 Shipping
The Library will ship material in a timely and efficient manner to the location specified by the requesting library.  Loaned material will be packaged to prevent loss or damage in shipping.  Copies should be delivered by electronic means whenever possible.

The Library will ship books using Canada Post and will use the Library Book Rate.  Further, the Library will provide a free return-address mailing label with each package shipped to requesting libraries.

5.8 Renewals
The Library will respond promptly to requests for renewals. The Library will grant one renewal, provided that the item is not in demand at the local library.  If the Library does not respond, the requesting library may assume that a renewal has been granted extending the due date by the same length of time as the original loan.

5.9 Recall
The Library may recall material at any time.

5.10 Compliance
The Library may suspend service to a requesting library that fails to comply with the provisions of this code.


Public Libraries Act, R.S.O., 1990, Chapter P. 44.

INFO Resource Sharing Network Participation Policies and Standards,