Home Bindoon Bookworm A win for interlibrary loans

A win for interlibrary loans

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Thanks to the Virus That Shall Not Be Named, this article has been delayed somewhat – I was originally going to publish it in March, so it may be old news to regular Bindoon Library members.

For those readers of Bindoon Bookworm from the beginning, you may remember that I wrote about the interlibrary loans process and the limitations that had been placed on requests from other libraries. The TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) version is that due to interlibrary loans being cost prohibitive, we couldn’t request any items that were less than a year old, or that fell under the Junior, Kindy, or Young Adult categories. Nor could we borrow DVDs or audiobooks from other libraries. For a small library with limited stock, plus not having another library close by, this was painful for our members.

Library staff from around the state, especially those in rural libraries, spoke out loudly about these restrictions. We understood that it was expensive, but it greatly disadvantaged our members who couldn’t just pop five minutes down the road to another large library like metropolitan members could. There was a long consultation period, many, many meetings in which our point of view was advocated for by a rural librarian, and statistics were gathered over a twelve month period.

At the beginning of this year it was announced that the restrictions had been reviewed and altered. We are still unable to borrow items with an accession date of less than twelve months and DVDs are also unable to be ordered. However, all other restrictions have been lifted. This means that yes, if another library has the final book in the Percy Jackson series, we can get it in for your child. It means that yes, we can order in audiobooks for those of you who prefer them. It also means that we can get in that particular book that is needed for the home schooling curriculum.

What we do need to be mindful of is that we don’t abuse the interlibrary loan system, as it has been proven that it can and will be taken from us. Don’t request a book and then never come in to pick it up, or return it long overdue. You may not get the overdue letters from the other libraries, but I do and it’s not fun explaining that I’ve not been able to return it simply because one of my members doesn’t respect the due date. Be careful with the loans and return them in the same condition that you were given them – torn pages and water damage are common and again, it’s then up to me to provide an explanation.

At the risk of sounding like a Stern Librarian™, at the end of the day, items borrowed from the library, whether it be your local library or ones that have been gotten in for you from another library, need to be treated with care and respect. You’ve been able to borrow them for free, and returning items late or damaged affects other members.

We want to be able to continue these services and that means we need everyone on board, doing their part.