Interlibrary Loan Policy


The Decatur Public Library provides interlibrary loan service in order to enhance and extend the resources available to its patrons.  Because the library cannot purchase or subscribe to every useful resource, interlibrary loan is an essential part of the library’s effort to meet the informational needs of the community.  The Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees supports participation in and use of regional state and nation-wide interlibrary loan networks.  The library is a member of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) and a partner in the Illinois Library and Information Network and a member of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

Decatur Public Library accepts requests from patrons for material that the library does not own. Material that cannot be found in the Online Public Access Catalog can be ordered through Interlibrary Loan.

The patron assumes full responsibility for any fees associated with the obtaining of materials and for all fees for late, damaged, or lost materials charged by the lending library.

Patrons must be in good standing and have a valid Decatur Public Library card to order materials through interlibrary loan.

Borrowing will be in accordance with US Copyright law as indicated below.

The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.  Under certain conditions specified in the Law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproductions. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of that order would involve violation of the law.


Under this policy, it is permissible for our patrons to place a request on interlibrary loan for any format of material.

The library will not attempt to borrow the following type of material:

1. Material that is less than 1 year old.
            2. Rare or valuable material.
            3. Material that we own or that is owned in IHLS.
            4. Unique material that would be difficult or impossible to replace. 

Requests for material must be described as completely and accurately as possible following accepted bibliographic practice.  If an item cannot be verified, the statement “cannot verify” should be included along with information about the original source of the citation.

Patron requests will be made by filling out an interlibrary loan request form available at the reference desk.  The librarian taking the request will determine the validity of the request and in the case of high-demand, reference, or new materials will forward it to the Head of Adult Division.

Patrons are limited to no more than 5 requests per day and no more than 15 requests per month.

If the same item has been ordered 2 or more times within 6 months by different patrons, ; it will be referred to the selectors in Adult Division or Children’s for ordering.

If the same patron has ordered the same item 2 or more times within 1 year at the 3rd placing of the order the reference department and the patron will be notified that the item is not available.


Patrons should be prepared to assume the following fees:

  • Any cost charged by the lending library.
  • $5.00 per item for all materials requested outside of the State of Illinois.
  • $3.00 per item for all audiovisual materials (DVDs, CDs, VHS, books-on-tape, books-on-CD, CD-ROMs, etc.)

These charges will be placed on their account prior to pickup of the item.

The patron will sign the form indicating their acceptance of the charges.

The safety of the borrowed material is the responsibility of Decatur Public Library until it is picked up by the patron.  At that time, the patron is responsible for any damage to the original item.  The patron agrees to a minimum charge of $50.00 or the actual charges from the lending institution if it is more than $50.00 for all material that is damaged or lost.

Patrons will be charged fines at the same rate as other material in the library collection for overdue items.

Patron will be charged $1.00 if paperwork checked out with the book is not returned with the item borrowed.  This charge is the responsibility of the ILL clerk.


May be requested in person or by telephone to the Interlibrary Loan Clerk.  Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library.  Patrons will be notified by phone or email of the new due date.

Only 1 renewal is allowed per item.

Items not returned to DPL can result in the patron being charged for a lost or missing item.  (see Expenses)


As part of the interlibrary loan code the Decatur Public Library will lend to other libraries all the types of material we attempt to borrow.

There is a $5.00 charge for all material loaned outside Illinois to help cover the cost of postage and processing. (Effective January 1, 2010)

All material lost or damaged will result in the borrowing library being charged the full cost of the item plus a $5.00 handling and processing fee.

OCLC lending restrictions are as follows:

$5.00 for all items outside the State of Illinois.

$.50 per page for all copies.

Restrictions:  New material less than 1 year old will not be loaned.

Not available for lending:



Approved by the Board of Directors, Feb. 28, 2013