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Best Practices for Loan Periods and Due Dates

Written by the Minitex/MnLINK ILL Committee.

Recommendation of the Minitex/MnLINK ILL Committee: Lending Libraries give a minimum interlibrary loan period of four weeks, allowing for possibly shorter loan periods for recently published material and curriculum materials.

Best Practices for Lenders

  • Allow loan periods that are as generous as possible.
  • Include the due date on request slip sent with item.

Best Practices for Borrowers

  • To ensure timely return of materials, observe the lender's due date. This may require taking a few days off the due date for the patron.

Results of the 2009 Best Practices Survey

In the 2009 best practices survey, responders included dozens of comments on due dates and loan periods, nearly all from the borrower's perspective. The survey responders' recommendations are easily summarized: loan periods and due dates should be generous, consistent, and clearly indicated on the paperwork accompanying the requested item.

Representative Comments from 2009 Survey:

  • It would be nice if every library would give the same length of time. Example: a book loan: 4 weeks (including delivery time); AV: 3 weeks (including delivery time).
  • Write the due date on the request form.
  • Lending the item for at least 30 days and yes making the due date clear is a great idea. Having due dates that are more accommodating for research. Currently 3 weeks is a standard loan period. A 6-week loan would work for researchers, especially those in an academic setting.
  • Allow borrower to have item for 3 weeks.
  • Having a sufficiently long borrowing period is crucial; otherwise, it requires hounding of end-users by library staff, interactions which are not conducive to building warm relations!

Rev Dec 2010

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