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General Guidelines and Protocols

Things that should not be requested outside SCLS
Things that may be requested, but are difficult to obtain

Requesting Obituaries
Request tracking
Due dates and renewals
Returning materials

Recalled materials
Canceling requests
Limiting requests

Requesting Multiple Copies


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Things that should not be requested outside of SCLS

Most E-book and electronic journal database licenses do not allow for interlibrary loan sharing.

Most libraries do not lend computer games, and often, even if loaned, require a "computer key."

Most libraries do not lend Rosetta Stone software.  Rosetta Stone's license does not allow the software to be installed on more than one workstation. 

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Things that may be requested, but are difficult to obtain

Many libraries have limits on what they will lend. Libraries will typically only lend an item if it is on the shelf. No reserves are placed for interlibrary loan requests. Things that may be difficult to obtain include:

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Requesting Obituaries

A) Obituaries from Wisconsin Newspapers

You may be able to find the obituary for the patron right away!

B) Not found in above sources?

C) None of the above is possible?


Request Tracking

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Due Dates and Renewals

Loan periods are set by the lending library. Please let your patrons know that the loan period for an item from another library will likely be shorter than the loan period they normally get at your own library and encourage them to use the item in the time given. Because of travel time, due dates usually only leave enough time for your patron to have an item for 1-2 weeks.

Please note that the due date on an interlibrary or outerlibrary loan item is the date the item is due back at the owning library.  When you check the item out to a patron, be sure to make it due back at your library in time for you to return it to the owning library by their due date. 

Some libraries will not renew items they have loaned. Most libraries already give extended loan periods for materials to allow for delivery time. Often "No Renewals" is stamped on the paperwork that comes with an item. If so, make the patron aware of this restriction.

You may request renewals for some materials. If a renewal becomes necessary, log into your OuterLibrary Loan Account,   and pull up the item you want to renew (either by searching in the "search box" in the upper right corner of the screen, or by choosing "Checked Out Items" from the menu bar at the left.)  Click on the transaction number of the item, then click on the "Request Renewal" button, if available, in the upper left of the table.  If the "Request Renewal" button does not appear, it cannot be renewed.  You must continue to check back to see if the status of that item changes from "Renewal Requested" to "Renewed."  If the renewal request is denied, return the item by the original due date. 

IMPORTANT: Do NOT request renewals for any items that are indicated as "No Renewals" by the lending library. Return them by the due date indicated.

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Returning Materials

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Recalled Materials

If the owning library recalls an item, contact the patron and return the item to the owning library immediately.  (Fortunately, this does not happen very often.)

Canceling Requests

You may cancel a request by logging into your OuterLibrary Loan account, and searching for the item in the search box in the upper right corner, or finding the item in the "Outstanding Requests" table and then clicking on the transaction number.  You will see a "Cancel" option in the upper left of the Detailed View table. 

You should cancel requests in the following instances:

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Limiting Requests

We will limit to 100 the number of items a patron can request system wide per year.  Each library may set their own limits based on local staffing and resources. (For example, Madison Public Library will keep their local limit of five requests per day per patron, and a total of 50 requests per calendar year per patron.)  

Madison will keep track of how many items patrons have requested and notify your library when a patron is approaching 50 requests per year. (If you set a lower local limit than 50, let Madison OuterLibrary Loan Office know what that limit is.)

We recommend a daily request limit for patrons for several reasons:

It ensures that we can provide the highest quality, most equitable service possible with a finite staff.

Requesting Multiple Copies

Sometimes libraries want to request multiple copies of an item owned in LINKcat for a book club or for classroom use.

While this is permitted by the Wisconsin ILL Guidelines, those guidelines are driven, in part, by the needs of smaller libraries and smaller systems with access to fewer copies than SCLS generally has. Therefore, we discourage this practice.

However, sometimes an item is needed in a format that SCLS owns few copies of, such as large print. In cases like this, it is permissible to request through OLL, with the following caveats:


(Library users:  This information is for staff at SCLS member libraries.  If you have questions about your local library's limits, please contact that library directly.)

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For more information about Interlibrary Loan, contact Jean Anderson.

For information about placing OuterLibrary Loan requests for your patrons, contact Madison OuterLibrary Loan Office by email or at 608-266-6302.