in other countries, develop reciprocity, and supply the materials that they and we
require. These activities support and promote scholarship. If US research libraries
were unable to lend materials to international libraries, it would jeopardize our
ability to borrow resources from other countries that are needed locally.
Third, research libraries provide access to information resources through
multiple channels, including acquisition of copyrighted works, licensing agree-
ments, ILL, purchase on demand, and more. These libraries devote considerable
effort and expense to ensuring compliance with copyright laws and licensing
terms and conditions. Libraries voluntarily pay copyright fees when appro-
priate, and they constitute the bulk of the market for the content produced by
academic rights holders. New restrictions on current international lending by
US research libraries would lead to higher costs for libraries and would limit
access to knowledge, nationally and internationally.
In closing, the IFLA guidelines for international lending summarize the
situation well: “Just as no library can be self-sufficient in meeting all the
information needs of its users, so no country can be self-sufficient. The supply
of loans and copies between libraries in different countries is a valuable and
necessary part of the interlibrary loan process.”12
“The purpose of interlibrary loan…is to obtain, upon request of a library user, material not available
in the user’s local library…Interlibrary loan (ILL) is intended to complement local collections and is
not a substitute for good library collections intended to meet the routine needs of users. ILL is based
on a tradition of sharing resources between various types and sizes of libraries and rests on the belief
that no library, no matter how large or well supported, is self-sufficient in today’s world.” American
Library Association (ALA), “Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States,” prepared by the
Interlibrary Loan Committee, Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), 1994, revised
2001, revised 2008 by the Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS),
Loan Code for the United States Explanatory Supplement,” for use with the Interlibrary Loan Code
for the United States, 2008, http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/rusa/resources/guidelines/
IFLA, “International Resource Sharing and Document Delivery: Principles and Guidelines for
Procedure,” first agreed by IFLA 1954, major revision 1978, modified 1987, major revision 2001,
revision February 2009, http://www.ifla.org/files/docdel/documents/international-lending-en.pdf.
Ariel, Relais, and Odyssey are software programs that allow the transmission of articles electronically.
“Ariel allows users to send electronic images to other Ariel workstations anywhere in the world, using
either FTP or email, and converts them to PDF files for easy patron delivery,” Infotrieve website,
accessed March 10, 2011, http://www.publist.com/ariel/.
Relais software enables sending scanned documents via FTP to Ariel, and Odyssey, fax, e-mail
attachment, post to web, or print, per Clare MacKeigan, Chief Operating Officer, Relais International,
March 15, 2011.
“The Odyssey software allows sites to send and receive electronic documents to other Odyssey sites,
OCLC ILLiad sites, and other vendor’s software that supports the Odyssey protocol, ” Odyssey
website, accessed March 10, 2011, http://www.atlas-sys.com/odyssey/.
White Paper: International Interlibrary Loan
C O N T I N U E D
JUNE 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC