Audiovisual (AV) Materials
The lending of audiovisual materials for interlibrary loan varies from library to
library in the Minitex region.
Loan periods tend to be short for AV materials. Some libraries will not renew AV material.
Even if the library normally lends AV items, some audiovisual items may be non-circulating.
Recently released items usually will not circulate, since these items are in high demand
at all libraries.
If your patron needs a particular audiovisual item on a specific date, please contact the
lending library and arrange your loan directly.
- To see if another library is likely to lend an audiovisual item to your patron,
check the MnLINK/Minitex ILL Policy Database
When requesting audiovisual items specify the format needed (CD, VHS, DVD or LP).
If no format is specified, our staff will fill your request with either
a CD (for sound) or a DVD (for video).
Shipping Audiovisual Items
Please return items in the original shipping container. Lenders often purchase heavy duty
containers so their material is not damaged during shipping.
- Avoid exposing these types of materials to magnetic fields and extremes in temperature.
Jet packs (envelopes filled with shredded material) may not be used for mailing AV
Materials. The dusty filling material will damage tapes and diskettes.
Recommendations and information on AV Materials from the Minitex/MnLINK ILL Committee
Increasing patron demand combined with local restrictions on AV materials are interfering
with the patron self-service aspect of MnLINK. Some libraries choose not to loan AV materials,
particularly DVDs, outside of their region via interlibrary loan. This is a challenge because
patrons who do not understand these restrictions when placing requests for these items are not
receiving the requested materials. Staff requesting AV items at the statewide level also have
difficulties knowing or remembering which systems have restrictions, creating extra steps in
the requesting process.
Circulation & Reimbursement Policies
Identifying the libraries that choose not to circulate AV materials will help save time for
staff requesting the materials at the statewide level. However, this could be challenging as
each library has the freedom to circulate materials based on their individual mission statements,
circulation policies, and goals. While regional systems may stress the importance of sharing
AV materials, libraries still have the right to create their own restrictions and policies.
Regulating due dates and circulation policies and creating a standard renewal policy for AV
materials would benefit the patron and the library staff who process materials. If library staff
could be guaranteed a short turn-around time, they may be more willing to loan out their desired
AV materials. The selected time frame would allow enough time for the delivery process and
travel time to take place and enough time for the patron to enjoy the materials requested.
Patrons can be made aware of limited loan periods and the need for a speedy return of ILL
materials at checkout with bookmarks or signage. Most patrons value ILL service and will
participate in keeping materials accessible by voluntarily limiting their use of the material.
Clearly stated reimbursement policies and easy processes for reimbursement at the regional level
will help ease fears of lost and damaged materials. Making staff aware of the importance of
resource sharing leads to better service at all locations. Better customer service and improved
access to ILL services improves our status locally and regionally. Open and easy access to materials
creates our positive image in the community we serve.
Some possible solutions to this issue:
Libraries can purchase two copies of a specific title at a discounted price (one to circulate,
one marked for local use).
Libraries can use Netflix or other streaming video options (like Hulu.com) to help supplement
- Libraries can create community partnerships to help supplement collections.
- Libraries can balance cost of lending and purchasing – consider purchase as viable ILL option.
- Libraries can implement longer time for loan periods.
- Libraries as borrowers can set loan length on AV materials to insure fewer re-requests.
Libraries can insure that the AV materials which are not available for interlibrary loan have
a collection code that does not allow reserves for ILL patrons.
Resource Sharing News
Resource Sharing News keeps readers up-to-date about interlibrary loan activities in the
Use MNLINK to:
- Search multiple libraries and databases at once.
- Request materials.
- Search the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) to view and download articles about numerous topics.