04.11 Interlibrary Loan Policy - Revised 7-25-18.pdf

The Purpose of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is to obtain for Richmond Public Library (RPL) patrons materials not owned by the RPL system.

RPL also shares its resources with other libraries requesting materials on Interlibrary Loan.

A. Materials Loaned By Richmond Public Library to Other Libraries

  • RPL will loan items to other Virginia libraries.
  • The loan period is 28 days.
  • RPL generally loans circulating items.
  • RPL may refuse a request due to the value of the requested item.
  • Copies of any material in the collection will be provided without charge, as long as the request is within reason.
  • RPL does not loan audio materials, DVDs, microfilm, materials from the Martha Orr Davenport Special Collections Room and titles published within the year.
  • Items will generally be renewed once, with the exception of items currently wanted by RPL patrons.
  • Overdue fines shall not be applied to material loaned to other libraries.
  • Charges will be imposed for lost or damaged items.

B. Materials Borrowed by Richmond Public Library for RPL Borrowers

RPL follows the guidelines established in the American Library Association's Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, available at


Eligibility and Limits on Interlibrary Loan Borrowing

Because Interlibrary Loan involves items owned by institutions other than RPL, and because of the labor the service requires, certain restrictions and limits apply to Interlibrary Loan borrowing:

  • Interlibrary Loan service is available to RPL cardholders as long as they are in good standing with the Library, with no fines over $5.00, no delinquent items, and no more than two claimsreturned items; and has a permanent, verifiable address and phone.

  • Any patron may have only two active requests at any one time. Active requests include both items currently on loan and items currently being searched for.

  • Requests are taken through an online request or in person at any RPL location.

  • We cannot estimate a lending library's response time to fill a request. Delivery of Interlibrary Loan material may take 2 to 4 weeks, or even longer.

  • Patrons who repeatedly ignore Interlibrary Loan rules will not be eligible for ILL borrowing. Some examples of rule violations:

    o Removing the book strap.

    o Returning items damaged.

    o Habitual late returns.

    o Non-returns.

Materials Which May be Requested

Books, fiche, film, dissertations, theses, photocopies, and musical scores not currently owned by RPL are available through Interlibrary Loan. This includes items with no record in the RPL catalog, or for which records show no holdings, missing, claimed returned, or withdrawn.

  • Loaned microfilm will be used in the Main Library.

Materials Which May Not be Requested

  • Materials published or released within the past six months to one year.
  • Downloadable audiobooks, or e-Books.
  • Lending libraries will also generally restrict loans of textbooks, genealogy material and reference books, old, rare, or valuable material.


  • Most items can be obtained without charge. While RPL staff will attempt to obtain items without charge, institutions can charge fees for lending. These fees can vary and the patron will be responsible for these charges, in excess of $15.00.
  • Patrons must indicate a maximum amount they will be willing to pay for an item. If no amount is named, a zero amount will be assumed.
  • Once charges have been incurred on a patron's behalf, the patron is responsible for charges up to the amount he/she has agreed to, even if the item is not picked up.
  • The lending library's invoice for any fees may arrive with the material or later. If later, you will be notified when the invoice arrives.

    o Payment should be made by check or by money order to the lending library.

Picking Up and Checking Out

  • Interlibrary Loan items are available for pick up and return at every RPL location.
  • Interlibrary Loan materials will be checked out on your RPL library card.
  • Borrowers are still responsible for any previously authorized fees even if the Interlibrary Loan material is not picked up.

Due Dates, Renewal of Items, and Restrictions on Use

  • Due dates and renewal options are determined by the lending institution.
  • A lender may recall an item at any time.
  • Some libraries do not allow renewals.
  • Requests for renewals must be made 5 days prior to the due date of the Interlibrary Loan materials.
  • Requests for renewals must be submitted to LLRPL@gmail.com or by calling the Main Library.
  • Some libraries require that items be used only within the library.
  • The due date and lending restrictions are indicated on the book strap attached to the Interlibrary Loan item.

Returning Interlibrary Loan Materials

  • Interlibrary Loan materials may be returned to any RPL location.
  • The materials will be discharged from the patron's RPL borrower record.
  • Staff will sign and date a returned receipt.

Overdue Fines and Replacement Costs

  • Interlibrary Loan materials will be checked out on your RPL library card.
  • RPL charges overdue fines for Interlibrary Loan materials returned late. Fines are .10 cents per day, per item. The maximum overdue fine is $5.00.
  • Replacement costs for damaged or lost items are determined by the lending institution, and may amount to many times the actual value of the item.

Notification of Patrons

  • RPL staff will notify Interlibrary Loan patrons by email or phone of the arrival of items, approval or disapproval of renewal requests, overdues and recalls, unfilled requests, and fees or charges.


Reviewed: January 2012

Revised: July 25, 2018