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FAQ Interlibrary Loan Library@TCC

What is interlibrary loan? 
Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a service through which one library system lends its materials to another library system.  Interlibrary loan practices are based on the National Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association and regulations of individual lending libraries.  Interlibrary loan is a courtesy arrangement between libraries. 

Who may use ILL services? 
Registered TCC students, faculty and staff are eligible to request ILL materials that are not available in TCC libraries in any format. A valid TCC library card is required for this service. Community patrons may request interlibrary loan services from their local public library. TCC students may choose to obtain a Virginia Tidewater Consortium library card to check out materials from local academic libraries.

How do I use ILL? 
Fill out a request form for each item needed.  Forms are available at the reference desk or online.  Please fill out the forms completely to avoid delays.

How long does it take to get ILL materials? 
Requests are usually initiated within 24-48 hours after receipt.  TCC reserves the right to limit the number of requests processed at one time.  Patrons should indicate the order of priority when submitting more than 5 requests.  After the request is sent we no longer have control over the process.  Availability, transit time, and other factors affect how long it takes us to receive a requested item.  Plan ahead!

Is it going to cost anything? 
Most ILL materials are obtained free of charge.  However, sometimes a requested item is only available from an organization that charges a fee.  If TCC is charged for an ILL, those fees may be passed on to the patron.  Patrons may indicate "no fee" on the request form or give a limit of how much of a fee they are are willing to pay.  Patrons are financially responsible for the replacement or repair of materials lost or damaged during their use of materials.  Patrons are also responsible for overdue fines.

How will I know when the ILL items have arrived? 
Patrons are notified by phone or mail when the material arrives.  If we are unable to fill your request, you will be notified.

How long may I keep books? 
Typically, 8 weeks.  Loan periods, renewals, and restrictions on use of materials, such as "Library Use Only" are determined by the lending library and take precedence.  Requests for a renewal must be made before the book is due so that permission to extend the due date may be requested.  It is not always granted.

How do I return borrowed materials? 
Materials borrowed are returned to the circulation desk where patrons checked them out.  Please return materials on time.  Libraries may rescind borrowing privileges if materials are late or lost.  If materials are consistently returned late, patrons may be blocked from checking out any library materials.

What may not be borrowed through ILL? 
TCC may not interlibrary loan materials that are held in our libraries in another format.  Also, the following items are generally difficult or impossible to borrow: 

  • Recently published books or best sellers
  • Reference books
  • Materials on reserve
  • Entire issues of periodicals
  • Rare materials, manuscripts, or fragile items
  • Compact discs, computer software, videotapes, etc.

Are there copyright considerations? 
The borrowing library is responsible for conforming to the U.S. copyright law and its guidelines.  Each calendar year the college can request no more than five articles for the same periodical title published in the last five years. 

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