New Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code - effect from 1 January 2014

During 2013 the ALIA Interlibrary Lending Advisory Committee sought assistance from the library community to review the ILRS code, in particular the principles and guidelines in the Interlibrary Resource Sharing code. This new code replaces the 2011 version and is accompanied by a set of Guidelines to assist ILL practitioners. The Committee wishes to thank everyone who provided feedback.

Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code

November 2013
The Australian ILRS Code, November 2013, replaces the code adopted by the library sector in 2011.

The ILRS Code benefits Australian libraries and their users by providing greater predictability, consistency, and flexibility in obtaining materials.

The ILRS Code has been endorsed by the Australia Library Peak bodies including Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA), the Council of Australian University Librarians(CAUL) and the National Library of Australia.

The Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code, together with the Best Practice Guidelines (2014) is designed to support a multi-faceted approach to resource sharing based on reciprocality, co-operation and fairness between libraries, respect for the moral and intellectual rights of creators and publishers and compliance with legal and contractual obligations.

In supporting the ILRS Code, Australian libraries recognise that resource sharing is important in meeting the needs of library users but that it should not be a substitute for the purchase of library materials to meet the primary needs of its users. The purpose of resource sharing is to obtain those materials that a library cannot purchase because they fall outside the scope of the library's collection development policy.

Although the ILRS Code is voluntary all libraries participating in resource sharing are encouraged to operate under the principles and implement the service level standards specified ensuring an efficient and effective system. The core service is mandatory. Libraries are encouraged to offer all three service levels. Core and Rush levels must be provided before offering the higher Express level. Maximum prices are recommended for each service level. The charge drops to the service level delivered when a supplying library fails to meet the turnaround time.

Libraries participating under this ILRS Code agree to observe the following principles:

Both requesting and supplying libraries assumes responsibility for:

  1. Complying with the service-level standards.
  2. Maintaining their ILRS directory entry and
    1. publishing their resource sharing policy
    2. listing the service levels supported
    3. listing all charges and;
    4. ensuring contact details are correct.
  3. Improving services and review processes following best practice under each service level standard.
  4. Maintaining their holdings by
    1. recording up-to-date holdings including holdings of electronic resources
    2. ensuring where possible availability for resource sharing (insofar as contractual agreements permit).
  5. Ensuring that if the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD) is used to identify holdings for requests, where possible commit to making holdings available and up-to-date.
  6. Being aware of the licensing conditions for their electronic resources and supplying when permitted.
  7. Ensuring the confidentiality of the requesting patron is respected.
  8. Undertaking regular housekeeping, completing processes such as received, check-in, returned.

Requesting library assumes responsibility for:
  1. Complying with the policies, any special provisions on the use of material and restrictions of potential supplying libraries, as published in their ILRS Directory entry.
  2. Providing complete bibliographic details and call numbers of the supplying library where possible and are encouraged to check availability of holdings to avoid unfilled requests.
  3. Requests particularly where the requesting library allows direct delivery to its users, i.e. unmediated access with patron delivery including
a) authenticating and authorising users
b) delivery details are accurate
c) requests comply with the principles of the ILRS Code
d) bibliographic details are accurate
  1. Paying all authorised charges imposed by the supplying library including express delivery.
  2. Delivery costs for returning the material borrowed items.
  3. Safety of borrowed material, and payment for the loss or damage of the material whilst at the requesting library or in transit back to the supplying library.
  4. Ensuring borrowers know the date for the return of loans and honour the due date for the return of loans.

Supplying library assumes responsibility for:
  1. Supplying the best copy possible, in accordance with efficient work processes, and notifying the requesting library if a quality copy is not available.
  2. Offering a range of efficient payment methods such as the national automated payments service through Libraries Australia Document Delivery, electronic funds transfer (EFT) or payment with request using credit card or cheque.
  3. Supplying an item quickly within the service level requested and if unable to supply, advise the requesting library as soon as possible.
  4. Providing a loan period of no less than four weeks
  5. Material lost in transit to the requesting library.
  6. Considering all requests for material regardless of format, however the decision to supply materials is at the discretion of the supplying library and subject to any licensing conditions that may apply.

Supplier turnaround time
The time between when a supplying library receives a request to when the supplying library dispatches the item or indicates it cannot supply the item.
(a) a library all or part of whose collection is accessible to members of the public directly or through interlibrary loans; or
(b) a library whose principal purpose is to provide library services for members of a Parliament; or
(c) an archives all or part of whose collection is accessible to members of the public.
Working day
9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
Recommended prices
All recommended prices are GST-inclusive.
Default delivery modes
To be used when the requesting library has not specified a delivery method.
Best copy possible
The copy is the highest possible quality for readability by the user, obtainable within efficient work processes.
Service-level standards
For Information Only: These recommended prices have been established to provide participants with predictability of budget in regard to services provided by other participants of the Australian resource sharing network. Participants must independently determine the price for their service.

service type
maximum supplier turnaround time
recommended prices
default delivery modes
2 hours: The item or a negative response is sent within two hours of receiving the request.

(Requesting libraries are encouraged to telephone or email confirmation of electronic express requests)
$16.50 plus $33.00 levy, plus delivery charges if applicable.
Copy: Electronic delivery eg Ariel, other electronic delivery, e-mail attachment or web-service.

Loan: Negotiated
24 hours: The item or a negative response is sent within 24 hours of receiving the request.
(Requesting libraries are encouraged to telephone or email confirmation of electronic express requests)
$16.50 plus $16.50 levy, plus delivery charges if applicable.
Copy: Electronic delivery eg Ariel, other electronic delivery, e-mail attachment or web-service.

Loan: Express Post or equivalent
4 working days: Working days are measured in whole days. Request received on Monday, item or a negative response sent by close of business Thursday or, if the item is to be sent by mail, dispatched in time for last collection on Thursday.
$16.50, plus delivery charges if applicable.
Any method not attracting an additional charge.
The supplier response time to an ILL request sent from an automated system before automatic expiry occurs is Core turnaround time plus one working day.
Recommended delivery prices
Recommended prices for copies are for up to 50 pages in the original item in black and white reproduction. An additional charge of $4.00 applies for each additional 50 pages copied. An additional charge of $2.50* applies for each colour page copied. Prices for special copying, for example, fragile material or music scores, or for loans of multi-volume sets may need to be negotiated.
no charge
Electronic delivery eg Ariel, other electronic delivery, e-mail attachment or web-service.
no charge
no charge
Express post or equivalent for copies
Express post or equivalent for loans up to 3kg
Express post or equivalent for loans over 3kg

* The recommended additional charge should not apply to colour copies delivered electronically.

Code to be reviewed in 2015

[1] Library definition from the Australian Copyright Act 1968,