Question of the Month: Interlibrary Loan

RAILS is starting a new Question of the Month series that features some of the questions we've received from members. This month's question is about interlibrary loan.


I work at an independent private school library and we are not an OCLC member. I would like my library to participate in interlibrary loan to better serve students doing research and to help teachers in developing new curriculum. Can I still borrow resources from other libraries without being an OCLC member? We are willing to share our materials.

RAILS Response:

All RAILS member libraries are able to use interlibrary loan regardless of their OCLC membership status. If you do not belong to a shared catalog consortium, you may use the American Library Association interlibrary loan form to request materials, which can be found here.

School library staff are important resources for your teachers and students. By participating in interlibrary loan, you are able to expand your collection and request the materials your students and staff need to study and teach.

Agreeing to abide by the ILLINET Interlibrary Loan Code is a requirement of RAILS membership. Read more…

By abiding by the ILLINET interlibrary loan code, you are agreeing to participate in interlibrary loan by placing or filling interlibrary loan requests as needed. The ILLINET interlibrary loan code states in part that "Any materials, regardless of format, may be requested from another library. The supplying library determines whether the material can be provided." Your library may place limitations on which requests are filled and still abide by the ILLINET interlibrary loan code.

The RAILS Resource Sharing Department is available to answer any further interlibrary loan questions you may have. Please contact Amanda Musacchio, Resource Sharing Specialist, at or 630.734.5118.

If you have a question you would like us to feature, contact Mary Witt, RAILS Communications Director.

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