Alert icon. Minitex Resource Sharing and Delivery services are suspended. If your library is closing, reducing services, or taking other precautions, please let us know.

ILL Committee Policy Recommendations


Interlibrary Loan through the MnLINK Gateway
Policy Recommendations of the MnLINK ILL Subcommittee

Approved by the MnLINK Steering Committee
August 27, 1999
(Rev. July 23, 2002)

"All people in Minnesota will have access to a wide array of high quality library services and global information resources in a range of formats whenever, wherever, and however the information services are needed."—Library Planning Task Force Vision Statement, 1995; MnLINK Policy Advisory Committee, 2002

"If Minnesota is to retain its place as a leader in resource sharing, and more importantly, if it is to continue to improve the access to information its residents want and deserve, the state must do more than implement new technologies. It must use new technologies to their best advantage by establishing protocols and procedures that focus first on the needs of library users."—Minnesota Interlibrary Loan Study Report, Himmel & Wilson, 1999

In the spirit of the above statements and in an effort to place the interests of library users at the center of resource sharing policy, the Committee recommends to participating MnLINK libraries the following interlibrary loan policies to achieve uniformity for the benefit of all users.

The Committee presented draft policies for feedback at the Minitex Interlibrary Loan Conference on May 19, 1999. Attendees participated in small group discussions that elicited very useful feedback. A summary of these discussions is available at the MnLINK website.

The final policy recommendations were approved by the MnLINK Steering Committee in August 1999, and were reviewed and revised in June 2002 with particular reference to the 2001 revision of the national Interlibrary Loan Code.

The Committee will review these recommendations on a regular basis. The membership list and contact information as well as other information on the workings of this group may be found on this website.

Locally-Owned Materials

The borrowing library is encouraged to allow its patrons to make interlibrary loan requests for items that are locally owned if the item needed is not currently available because the item is:

  • in use by another patron,
  • missing from the shelf,
  • at the bindery or in disrepair,
  • non-circulating (i.e. reference), or
  • on reserve for a course.


All libraries should consider lending and borrowing materials in all formats. (Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, 2001, section 5.2)

ILL Loan Periods

The recommended minimum interlibrary loan period is four weeks. A shorter loan period may be set for recently published material, material that is in heavy demand, or material that is used in curriculum.


The borrowing library may request one renewal per item. The lending library is strongly encouraged to grant renewals on materials whenever possible. However, the lending library does have the right to refuse to renew materials. If the lending library does not respond to a renewal request, the borrowing library may assume that a renewal has been granted for the same period as the original loan. (Interlibrary loan Code for the United States, 2001, sections 4.11, 5.8)


The lending library has the right to recall all materials. Materials may be recalled at any time. Whenever possible, the patron should be allowed a minimum of four days to use the material before returning it. Recall due dates supersede all previous due dates (Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, 2001, section 4.12).

Overdue Notification

The borrowing library is responsible for generating and sending all notices to their patrons.

Overdue Fines

The lending library will not assess overdue fines against the borrowing library. The borrowing library retains the right to establish local policies regarding fining their own patrons for interlibrary loan materials.

Lost or Damaged Materials

The borrowing library is responsible for all materials lost or damaged by their patrons or while in transit. Compensation will be in accordance with the preference of the lending library. The lending library will not bill the borrowing library for more than the amount they bill their own patrons. The lending library may accept a replacement copy in lieu of payment but in such cases may also assess processing fees. (Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, 2001, section 4.9)


Contact Us

University of Minnesota
Wilson Library, Room 60
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-624-4002
Toll-Free: 800-462-5348
Fax: 612-624-4508