Texas Interlibrary Loan Protocol


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) provides Texas public libraries access to state and national resource sharing networks, including those for interlibrary loan, with the intention to help meet the educational, informational, and economic needs of all Texans.  No library can own every item and the statewide interlibrary loan program enables library users to access materials that may not be available at their local libraries.

Texas public libraries use OCLC’s Navigator system to monitor and manage interlibrary loan requests locally.  Offering interlibrary loan services is currently an accreditation criteria for Texas public libraries as per 13 TAC §1.83.  There are over 550 Texas libraries using Navigator for consortial resource sharing.  The Texas Navigator Group and statewide interlibrary loan program are administered by TSLAC and funded by the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

1.0 Definitions

1.1 Interlibrary Loan
A service where libraries request materials from, and supply materials to, other libraries in a network or consortia.      

1.2 TexShare
TexShare is a statewide resource sharing program designed to improve library service to Texans. The TexShare Consortium includes public, academic, and libraries of clinical medicine. TexShare is administered by TSLAC and includes database, in-person reciprocal borrowing, and statewide courier programs.

1.3 Texas Navigator Group
A consortia of accredited Texas public libraries that have agreed to share resources through interlibrary loan using the statewide resource sharing system, OCLC’s Navigator.  Members referred to as “Libraries” below.

1.4 Library Material
Material owned by library in any format including, but not limited to books, audio-visual materials, dissertation and theses, electronic journals (as licenses permit), genealogy (copies may be provided as an alternate to loan), government documents, microforms, and photocopies/PDF files.

2.0 Scope

  1. 1 - This protocol provides general guidelines for the Texas Navigator Group interlibrary loan activities in Texas with the understanding that individual libraries and networks will develop and post their own local policies.

3.0 General Agreements

  1. 1 - Libraries shall adhere to the borrowing and lending guidelines: http://www.ala.org/rusa/guidelines/interlibrary. For more details and examples, see the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States Explanatory Supplement

  2. 2 - Libraries will obey the Libraries will obey the Copyright Law of the United States, particularly sections 107 (Fair use) and 108 (Reproduction by libraries and archives) (Title 17, U.S. Code): https://www.copyright.gov/title17/
    Participants will take the CONTU guidelines into consideration when necessary:
    See also: Copyright for Educators and Librarians, University of Texas Libraries’ Copyright Crash Course,  and Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

  3. 3 - Libraries will maintain their catalog holdings in OCLC’s WorldCat database by submitting new and deleted material files, annually at a minimum, using data synchronization
    Statewide interlibrary loan works most effectively and efficiently when the Texas Group Catalog is up-to-date with participating libraries’ current holdings.

  4. 4 - Libraries will lend to other Texas libraries free of charge.

  5. 5 - Libraries will create and make available local interlibrary loan policies.

  6. 6 - Libraries will enter lending policies in OCLC’s Policies Directory.

  7. 7 - TSLAC will provide  statistical reports of statewide interlibrary loan activity upon email request to the Statewide Interlibrary Loan Coordinator.

4.0 Delivery

  1. 1 - Libraries are encouraged to use the statewide courier, TExpress/Trans-Amigos Express, for physical items whenever possible.
  2. 1.1 - Information  subscribing to the courier is available on the Amigos website at https://www.amigos.org/trans_amigos_express
  3. 1.2 - Participating libraries will abide by courier packaging, labeling, and shipping guidelines: https://www.amigos.org/trans_amigos_express
  4. 1.3 -  Participating libraries will report courier usage statistics to Amigos monthly.
  5. 1.4 - Participating libraries will subscribe to the courier mailing list by emailing tae@amigos.org with the library name, contact name, and contact email address.
  1. 2 - Libraries may also use the United States Postal Service (USPS) for delivery and are encouraged to keep cost documentation.
    4.2.1 Libraries using USPS for delivery are encouraged to use Library Mail or Media Mail rates: https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/173.htm
  1. 3 - Libraries are encouraged to use electronic delivery for articles and copies whenever possible.

5.0 Responsibilities of Borrowing Libraries

  1. 1 - Borrowing libraries will honor the policies, conditions, and restrictions of the lending libraries.
  2. 2 - Submitting requests through the Navigator system is preferred for statewide resource sharing.
  3. 3 - Borrowing libraries using the statewide courier must include their hub and site number as the first line in the “Ship to” address in Navigator followed by the USPS mail address.
  4. 4 - Borrowing libraries will include in requests need by date if applicable and preferred method of delivery.
  5. 5 - Borrowing libraries will request renewals for materials before the lending due date.
  6. 6  - Borrowing libraries will promptly return recalled interlibrary loan materials to the lending library.
  7. 7  - Borrowing libraries are responsible for items from the time they are shipped by the lending library until the lending library receives them upon return in accordance with the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States. Borrowing libraries will be responsible for the replacement costs of lost or damaged items, but not additional processing fees.
  8. 8  - Invoices for lost or damaged items should be paid promptly by borrowing library unless other arrangements are made with the lending library.

6.0 Responsibilities of Lending Libraries

  1. 1  - Libraries will monitor their Navigator account for incoming requests regularly and complete or respond to interlibrary loan requests within 3 days whether able to supply the requested material or not.
  2. 2  - Libraries should lend materials through interlibrary loan that they circulate to their own patrons, regardless of format.  Libraries may choose not to lend certain collections including rare items, new releases, and/or audio-visual materials.
  3. 3  - Loan periods for materials is a minimum of four weeks, including time required for delivery and return. Longer loan periods and renewals will be permitted at the discretion of the lending library. Lending libraries may require a shorter loan period for specific materials.
  4. 4  - Lending libraries should notify borrowing libraries promptly when materials are overdue.
  5. 5  - Invoices for lost or damaged materials should normally follow within three months. Invoices should be paid promptly by borrowing library unless other arrangements are made with the lending library.

7.0 Communication

  1. 1  - At least one staff member from each participating library will subscribe to TSLAC’s ILL mailing list.
  2. 2  - Navigator updates and information are posted on TSLAC’s Texas Resource Sharing blog: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/texshare/newsletter/resourcesharingprojects/
  3. 3  - Statewide interlibrary loan information is available on TSLAC’s website: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/landing/ill.html
  4. 4  - Questions and comments can be directed to the Statewide Interlibrary Loan Coordinator.

8.0 Costs

  1. 1 Libraries will not charge other Texas libraries for lending materials or processing fees on lost materials.
  2. 2 Texas Navigator libraries may charge their own patrons the actual cost of return postage for a request or a flat rate of up to the cost of shipping a 2-pound package with USPS’s library mail rate. ($4.35 effective January 2023)
  3. 3 TSLAC manages an annual ILL lending reimbursement program, eligible libraries may receive a flat-rate reimbursement for each lend made to another Texas public library through Navigator.

9.0 Review and Assessment

  1. 1  TSLAC staff will periodically review and revise the protocol as needed.
Page last modified: April 6, 2023