Guidelines and Procedures for Telefacsimile and Electronic Delivery of Interlibrary Loan Requests and Materials
Prepared by the Interlibrary Loan Committee, Reference and Adult Services Division .
Approved by the: RASD Interlibrary Loan Committee, January 25, 1993; RASD MOPSS Executive Board, June 28, 1993; RASD Board of Directors, February 8, 1994.
Telefacsimile (fax) and electronic document delivery (EDD)
over the Internet are two methods of communication that have been
adapted to the needs of libraries for quick and easy transmission
of data. The fastest growing application of these types of
delivery in libraries is as a mechanism for the rapid relay of
interlibrary loan requests and/or responses to those requests
when they take the form of brief journal articles, excerpts from
larger works, and other easily reproduced materials that have
been requested through accepted communications channels.
These guidelines address the needs of libraries that use fax
and EDD systems in the interlibrary borrowing and lending
processes. As such, these guidelines are intended to enhance
other interlibrary loan codes and guidelines currently in use,
and should be used in conjunction with the National Interlibrary
Loan Code for the United States, 1993, the copyright law (Title
17, US Code), the National Commission on New Technological Uses
of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) guidelines on "Photocopying
Interlibrary Arrangements" including "Guidelines for the Proviso
of Subsection 108(g)(2)," and any state, regional, network, or
consortium guidelines that may be in effect. These guidelines
should be used to expedite interlibrary loan when no state,
regional, network, or consortium guidelines apply.
The purposes of these guidelines are: (1) to establish
uniformity with regard to type of equipment to be used; (2) to
recommend uniform practices with regard to equipment operation
and administration; (3) to establish guidelines for borrowing and
the formatting of requests to be transmitted; and (4) to set
guidelines for responses to requests by lending libraries.
2.1 Fax equipment should be digital equipment compatible with
the Consultative Committee for International Telephone and
Telegraph (CCITT) Group III standards. The equipment should
have, as a minimum, features providing automatic sending and
receiving, and a document feeder that allows the
transmission of multiple pages.
2.2 Each fax machine should have a dedicated telecommunication
line to insure high quality transmission and maximum access.
2.3 Other EDD equipment should be configured to send to and
receive from other libraries using the same type of equipment.
3.0 General Guidelines
3.1 In accordance with the library's published lending policy,
an interlibrary loan request may be transmitted via fax or
electronically to another library. An electronic response and/or
delivery may also be requested of that library in accordance with
state, regional, or national interlibrary loan codes and the
library's published lending policy.
3.2 Each fax or EDD transmission should include a cover or
identifying sheet that includes the sender, the receiver, the
number of pages being transmitted, and the sender's voice
telephone number, telefacsimile number, and/or electronic
address. The cover sheet may be omitted when transmitting an
interlibrary loan request provided that all identifying
information is included on the ILL request form.
3.3 Some documents may not transmit well via fax. These
include photographs, detailed charts, maps and graphs; text,
including scientific and mathematical symbols, small print, and
foreign languages with diacritical, vocalization, or other small
marks; and poor quality photocopies. Other electronic document
delivery systems may be able to send such material without loss
3.4 Unless a specific delivery method is requested, the lending
library will determine the method to be used in delivery of the
requested material. The lending library should notify the
borrowing library when unable to deliver via the requested
4.0 Borrowing Guidelines
4.1 An interlibrary loan request for a document to be delivered
electronically may be submitted through the interlibrary loan
system of a bibliographic utility, a local online network, or any
other transmission system acceptable to both the borrowing and
4.2 A request transmitted by any electronic method should be
typed on a standard ALA Interlibrary Loan Request Form or in a
standard freeform format approximating the ALA form (See
Interlibrary Loan Data Elements NISO Z39.63), and transmitted in
accordance with policies and procedures of the lending library.
4.3 A request for electronic delivery should contain the note:
"Please send to (fax number, or electronic address)" in the
borrowing notes field or in a conspicuous place on the request
4.4 A rush request should contain the note: "Please rush, needs
before mm/dd/yy" in the borrowing notes field or in a conspicuous
place on the request form. Sending a request via fax or other
electronic method will not automatically elicit a rush response
or delivery. Borrowing libraries should use discretion in
requesting rush service except in instances in which local
guidelines have been written to accommodate the service by
special arrangement or when the policy of the lending library
includes rush processing and delivery.
5.0 Lending Guidelines
5.1 The lending library should check interlibrary loan systems,
online networks, fax machines, and other electronic methods of
transmission at least once per working day for incoming requests.
5.2 Fax and EDD requests should be merged into the normal
workflow of the lending library and processed within a reasonable
period of time.
5.3 Rush requests should be processed within one working day of
5.4 When electronic delivery is requested, the lending library
should attempt to comply, provided the document is of reasonable
length and of a quality that will transmit well.
5.5 Any photocopy of a document produced in response to a
request for electronic delivery should be discarded after the
transaction has been completed. The lender should mail the
original photocopy only in circumstances in which the borrower
has received an illegible transmission and requests a paper copy
to be mailed.
5.6 A negative response should be made via the same network or
transmission method through which the request was received.
5.7 A negative response to a rush request should be sent via
fax, electronically, or by telephone within one working day. If
the request was sent via an online ILL system, the request should
also be updated or forwarded.
5.8 It is recommended that no additional fees or special
handling charges be levied by the lending library for a document
or response sent via fax or EDD.