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Interlibrary Loan Policy (4.303)


This policy applies to all patrons who have borrowing privileges at the Bellingham Public Library.


Bellingham Public Library: referred to as library in this policy.
Interlibrary loan (ILL): the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library. This service provides patrons access to material not available at their local library.


1. Library provides interlibrary loan service.

  • As an extension of its mission, the Bellingham Public Library provides interlibrary loan services so patrons may access material not found in its local collections.
  • The library may request material that is not owned or circulated by the library or by the Whatcom County Library System.

2. Library supports and complies with interlibrary loan codes and standards.

  • The Library complies with the American Library Association Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States.
  • This code includes compliance with the U.S. Copyright Law. The Library follows the standards of the current edition of the ALA Interlibrary Loan Practices Handbook.

3. Library may limit interlibrary loan services for selected materials.

  • Library Director or designee establishes procedures for interlibrary loan services, including setting limits for lending and borrowing. Limits based on format, publication date, number of items requested, and other factors may be set to match services to available resources.

4. Library may require patrons to pay interlibrary loan charges or fees.

  • Patrons will abide by the terms and conditions of lending libraries, including charges for lost or damaged materials.
  • For items not picked up by patron within the agreed loan period, the item will be returned and any fees incurred will be charged to the patron’s account.
  • Patron is responsible for any lending or copying fees as determined by the lending library. Payments for materials must be made before the patron uses the item.

5. Library Board reviews this policy.

  • This policy is periodically reviewed, revised, or reaffirmed by the Library Board of Trustees.


Title: 4.303 Interlibrary Loan Policy
Code: 4 Public Services
Chapter: 4.300 Information Services
Type of Policy: Departmental
Date Developed: 22 August 1997
Date Revised: 13 May 1999, 18 October 2011, 14 December 2016, 11 January 2018
Revised by: Pam Kiesner, Beth Farley
Developed by: Claudia McCain
Approved By: Library Board of Trustees

Cancels: previously numbered Section VIII, Subsection Circulation Policies and Procedures
See Also: Library policy:
5.201 Eligibility for Library Service Policy
Other resources:
American Library Association Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States
Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17)