Interlibrary Loan Policies for Rochester Public LIbrary Patrons

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FAQ/Policies for Rochester Public Library Patrons

Who may use interlibrary loan services?

  • Patrons with resident library cards from Rochester Public Library [RPL] may request interlibrary loan materials. Patrons with blocked cards due to lost or too many overdue materials are not permitted to make interlibrary loan requests.
  • Rochester residents without library cards need to register for a library card before making interlibrary loan requests.
  • Library users with temporary visitor cards are not eligible for interlibrary loan services.
  • Interlibrary loan materials received at RPL will not be delivered to other SELCO libraries, and should not be returned at other SELCO libraries because the item will not be removed from the RPL borrower account.
  • Library users with cards from other SELCO libraries may request RPL materials through MNLINK for delivery to their home library. To use MNLINK, a SELCO library user must have a valid library card (not delinquent due to fines, expiration, etc.) from their home library.
  • A SELCO library card holder may also use MNLINK to request materials for pick-up at RPL, although a valid library card needs to be registered with both the home library and RPL.

Is there a limit on the number of interlibrary loan requests?

The MNLINK interlibrary loan system with Minnesota limits RPL borrowers to 20 requests, which includes pending requests and received requests.

Interlibrary loan requests to libraries outside of Minnesota are limited to 10 requests per month.

Which types of materials are available for requesting through interlibrary loan?

Any type of material can be requested, with the following exceptions:

  • New titles (published in the last six months) are generally considered for purchase at RPL, instead of requesting from another library. We don’t borrow current bestsellers or new movies from other libraries. Use the suggest a purchase form instead of using an interlibrary loan request for recently published materials.
  • If we own a copy of the requested title, but it is currently checked out, requests will be put on the waiting list for the RPL copy, unless it is for a book club, class assignment, or before some other deadline.
  • Reference books and genealogy books (family and local histories) are generally not available for lending from other libraries. Copies of specific sections may be requested.
  • Photocopies of articles are limited by copyright law. A library may only request up to five articles copied from a particular journal, if the articles have been published in the last 5 years.

Which libraries will lend materials to RPL?

RPL borrows materials through the following library networks or systems (in order of preference):

  • SELCO/SELS: Southeastern Minnesota public and school libraries
  • Minnesota Public Libraries
  • MINITEX: a network of lending libraries in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and some Wisconsin libraries, including the University of Minnesota and Minnesota public and private colleges.
  • OCLC: a national network of lending libraries across the United States
  • MISCELLANEOUS LENDERS: historical societies, private and special libraries

How are interlibrary loan requests submitted?

  • For loan requests (books, CDs, DVDs, videos), use the MNLINK gateway search option. After finding a title at another library, submit the request with your library card number. If the search is not successful, use the interlibrary loan form to submit a request.
  • For copy and microfilm requests (from magazines, newspapers, journals, non-circulating books), use the interlibrary loan form. Copy requests have the option of sending an article electronically to your email account, using Adobe Reader to download the article.
  • Interlibrary loan requests will not appear on your RPL account until the item is received at RPL. Patrons may track the status of their MNLINK requests on the MNLINK gateway website.

Is there a charge for making interlibrary loan requests?

  • In most cases, there is no fee. If the title is available through SELCO/SELS, Minnesota public libraries, or MINITEX, there will be no charge.
  • For other states, we first try free lenders on the OCLC lending network. If there is a charge from the lending library through OCLC, patrons are required to pay this fee.
  • Patrons are notified before sending any request that requires payment of a fee (ranges from $5-20, depending on the other libraries’ policies).
  • Many historical society archives, college and private/special libraries have lending fees.

How long does it take to receive interlibrary loan requests?

  • The average time for receiving materials is approximately seven days, if the title is currently available from the lending library. The waiting time varies depending on which library is lending the materials. If the waiting time has been over three weeks since your request, contact the interlibrary loan department to check on the status of your request.

How will I be notified when the requested material arrives at RPL?

  • Interlibrary loan requests follow the same notification procedure as RPL reserved materials. Patrons with email notification set up on their registration information will receive an email notification, and patrons without email notification receive an automated telephone message. If the automated telephone notification is not successful, a mail notice is sent.
  • When the item arrives, it will appear as "available" on your online reserve list in my account. The only exceptions are photocopy and microfilm requests. Patrons are notified individually by interlibrary loan staff through email, phone, or mail.

Will I be notified if the requested item is not available?

Patrons are notified by email, telephone, or mail if requested materials are not available for lending. MNLINK requests are also updated to “currently unavailable through MNLINK” on your MNLINK account if not supplied.

RPL staff will consider current titles for purchase at our library, or try out-of-state libraries for book requests. It may take several weeks to determine that the requested title is not available. Commonly unavailable types of materials are:

  • Feature films or TV series on DVD
  • Popular music on CD
  • Reference and genealogy books (copies of specific sections are an alternative)
  • New titles in high demand, or recently published titles (RPL will consider for purchase)

How long is the loan period for interlibrary loan materials? Are renewals possible?

  • The due date is set by the lending library and ranges from one week to three months, three to four weeks being the average lending period. It is important to note that due dates are set when they leave the lending library, not when the item is picked up at RPL. RPL holds the requested items ten days for pick up before returning the lending library.
  • Due dates for materials are listed on your RPL online account and on the due date slip with the item.
  • Interlibrary loan item due dates can be extended for one week by contacting the interlibrary loan staff or reference staff. For longer renewals, RPL staff can contact the lending library to request a renewal if possible.
  • Music CDs and feature film DVDs are generally not renewable beyond one week. Interlibrary loan materials cannot be renewed by patrons on the RPL online account.

Where are interlibrary loan materials returned?

The best place to return interlibrary loan materials is the circulation desk, on the main floor of the library. If returning materials directly to the desk is not possible, materials may also be returned in the RPL book drop.

Interlibrary loan materials returned to other libraries will not be removed from your account.

Are overdue fees charged for interlibrary loan materials?

  • Overdue fees are the same as charges for RPL materials (currently 25 cents per day).
  • Lost or damaged material charges are based on the cost charged by the lending library. The University of Minnesota libraries currently charge $110 for every lost title, and other libraries charge lesser amounts.
  • Patrons who return interlibrary loan materials consistently late, lose materials, or don’t pick up requested materials will be denied further interlibrary loan privileges.
  • Consistent misuse of the MNLINK system, such as frequent placing of requests for items RPL owns, or placing duplicate requests, will also result in being barred from using MNLINK to make future interlibrary loan requests.