Interlibrary Loan Policy

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Policy

Interlibrary Loan is a primary service which provides enhanced access to Westerly Library and Wilcox Park cardholders’ library materials and information. The purpose of Interlibrary Loan is to obtain materials from other consortium libraries that are not available from within our library as well as from libraries outside the consortium, both from within state and out-of-state, and to provide materials from our collection to these other libraries.

Interlibrary Loan is an adjunct tool, not a substitute, for the library’s collection. In meeting patron needs, the library will exhaust local resources first. Items in frequent or recurring demand through ILL service will be considered for purchase.

Westerly Library and Wilcox Park is a member of the Ocean State Libraries consortium which means a library card issued from any OSL library will allow you to borrow materials from any OSL member library. All Westerly Library items set as “holdable” are eligible for interlibrary loan requests. There are several items that cannot be placed on hold, sent in the delivery, or borrowed for use outside of the library. Those items include:

  • Express DVDs and books are local use.
    • All Express DVDs and books have at least one additional copy, owned by Westerly Library and Wilcox Park, that may be borrowed any OSL card holder.
  • Watch Hill materials are local use.
    • The Watch Hill Library and Improvement Society operates as a members-only library during the months of July and August in Westerly, RI. Many titles still in high demand become available to borrow from within Westerly Library and Wilcox Park during the remaining 10 months. However, these materials are not owned by Westerly Library and Wilcox Park and are made available as a convenience to community members who visit Westerly Library.
  • iPads are local use.
    • Due to the cost and fragile state of this technology, iPads do not circulate to other libraries.
  • All reference, local history, and special collections do not circulate.
    • Reference materials by their nature are commonly used to retrieve relatively short, specific pieces of information, rather than to be read cover-to-cover. The primary purpose of having a reference collection is to make such convenient sources of specific information readily available when needed by library patrons and personnel. Non-circulating items in the General Collection have been designated as such in order to insure that they are available when needed by library patrons; the majority of these items are reference materials. For these reasons, reference materials and those designated as non-circulating, generally do not circulate. Any decision to allow a reference or non-circulating book to circulate is an exception to customary policy, and as such, should be made only in circumstances that warrant such an exception.
    • Our local history materials and special collections consist of rare and value books, manuscripts, and other materials that are old, scarce or unique. They are managed in a controlled environment and do not circulate due to possible damage during handling or complete loss of a material valuable to the library and community at large.

Rhode Island library users are able to borrow materials from non-OSL Rhode Island libraries and out of state libraries using the Interlibrary Loan service. The Interlibrary Loan service (ILL) is governed by the Library of Rhode Island standards. Materials can be requested through ILL by contacting a library staff member, either in person, by phone, or through e-mail. There is no guarantee that the materials requested will be available from another institution. There is no charge for placing an ILL request ILL materials are subject to normal fines and fees for overdue and lost materials.

Approved by the Memorial and Library Association Board of Trustees April 12, 2016

Revised April 4, 2019

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