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Because the collections and other information resources maintained by the Library are often insufficient for research and study undertaken by UMBC's faculty, staff, and students, the Library participates in a variety of arrangements through which libraries exchange materials for use by their library users. Participation in such interlibrary lending and borrowing arrangements can, however, be costly.

Interlibrary Borrowing Guideline

Given the Library's limited financial resources, we must ordinarily restrict this service to persons directly affiliated with UMBC. These are:

  • current UMBC faculty and staff
  • emeritus UMBC faculty
  • enrolled UMBC graduate students
  • enrolled UMBC undergraduate students

Furthermore, the Library can only partially underwrite the costs of interlibrary borrowing for these users.

Costs for staff and student assistance, and for postage or shipping of requests and borrowed materials are fully absorbed by the Library.

For interlibrary borrowing requests submitted by library users in the above categories, the UMBC Library pays charges made by the supplying library up to a maximum of $ 20.00 per item. In practice, this level of financial support for interlibrary borrowing allows most users to receive their requests at no personal charge. Users thus perceive the borrowing to have been "free."

In the minority of cases where the supplying library or other information provider charges more than $20.00 for an item, staff will require the user to either cancel the borrowing request or reimburse the Library the amount by which actual charges exceed the $ 20.00 support limit.

Staff will refer persons affiliated with other USM institutions (except UMAB) to their home USM institution if they wish to obtain interlibrary borrowing services. UMAB students will be provided interlibrary borrowing serivces if they elect to pay interlibrary borrowing fees and charges as special borrowers (see below).

In keeping with the University's mission to serve the community, the Library will make interlibrary borrowing service available to UMBC Special Borrowers under the following conditions:

  1. that the Special Borrower is registered and in good standing in accord with provisions of Library guideline 256.
  2. that staff time is available and would not detract or diminish the quantity, quality, and speed of Interlibrary Loan service offered to both the Library's primary UMBC clienteles and interlibrary lending partners.
  3. that the Special Borrower agrees to fully reimburse the UMBC Library for all expenses which might be incurred in obtaining Interlibrary Loans from other libraries or information providers (including other USM libraries).

Expenses to be reimbursed by the requestor for each interlibrary borrowing item obtained ("ILL request filled") include:

  • $ 15.00 (eff. 8/1/01) for UMBC processing, shipping and handling
  • and any and all costs charged by supplying library/information provider

Interlibrary Borrowing Procedures

Interlibrary Loan staff (or other staff as specified) will implement the above guideline through the following procedure:



The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery exists to provide necessary materials to current undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff of UMBC. We seek to provide materials in a variety of formats (books, articles, media, microforms, and more) without discrimination or judgment about the necessity or validity of user requests. We continually work to improve service for our users.

We consider all requests to be valid to fulfill users’ academic or personal needs, and will attempt to obtain materials within the limits described below. In recognition of our limited resources and the costs associated with borrowing, we ask users to be judicious in submitting requests, and to do so only in cases where a suitable alternative item is not available at UMBC.

We endeavor to be conscientious participants in the resource sharing community in order to advance research and learning. We continually work to broaden the range and quantity of materials we lend, and to improve service to our resource sharing partners.


The following guidelines apply to UMBC users of Interlibrary Loan services.

Eligible Users

Interlibrary Loan services are available to the following groups:

  • Currently-enrolled students (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Currently-employed faculty and staff
  • Emeritus faculty

Eligible users must log in to their ILL Services Account using their UMBC email and password.

Ineligible Users

Interlibrary Loan services are not available to the following groups:

  • Alumni
  • Special Borrowers
  • Affiliates (including Visiting Scholars and Business Partners who may be eligible for other library or campus privileges)

User Responsibilities

Users are expected to comply with the following ILL guidelines:

  • Maintain their library and interlibrary loan accounts with a current email. Email is our primary means of communication.
  • Return or renew materials on time.
  • Protect library materials from damage.
  • Provide complete and correct information for items when making a request. We recommend that users consult with a reference librarian to identify materials, if needed.
  • Retrieve provided materials in a timely manner, either by picking up physical items at the Library check out desk or downloading electronic items via the ILL services account.
  • Retain electronic copies of scanned items. Digital articles are available for download for 30 days; in general, ILL will not fill duplicate article or chapter requests for the same user.

UMBC’s participation in interlibrary loan can be jeopardized by users who lose or damage library materials, allow library materials to be damaged while in their care, or habitually return library materials after the due date. As a result, failure to comply with these guidelines may result in your library privileges being suspended and/or fines and fees being assessed for late, lost, or damaged materials.

Borrowing Limitations: What We Don’t Borrow

Due to licensing and other libraries’ loan restrictions, interlibrary loan is generally unable to obtain the following types of materials, and thus will cancel such requests automatically:

  • E-books
  • Entire recent issues of journals, magazines, or newspapers. Users may be able to obtain up to five items from a single issue by placing article requests. We may be able to obtain bound volumes of older periodicals.
  • Test manuals and exam review guides
  • Computer software

Please note that it is often difficult to obtain the following types of materials. We make every reasonable attempt to satisfy user requests, but may not be able to fill requests for:

  • Current editions of general textbooks (e.g., Biology)
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Genealogy materials
  • Musical scores
  • Maps
  • Corporate technical reports and other in-house or proprietary reports
  • Reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • High-demand or recent publications or media, for example, popular fiction or nonfiction on the current New York Times Bestseller lists, or DVDs of recent Oscar nominated films

Users are encouraged to grant Interlibrary Loan staff flexibility with respect to format and edition when possible.

Locally and Freely Available Materials

Users should consult the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) Catalog for materials before placing an interlibrary loan request. Items available within

USMAI should not be requested via interlibrary loan. Interlibrary Loan staff may place hold requests for users if staffing and workloads allow; if not, such requests will be canceled with instructions for the user on how to place requests via the catalog.

Materials available via electronic journals or databases provided by UMBC will be provided via a link to the electronic resource whenever possible.

Materials available via open access sources (for example, in institutional repositories) will be provided via a link to the online version whenever possible.

Loan Periods, Renewals, and Returns

Loan period is determined by the lending library. Renewals are granted at the discretion of the lending library and are not guaranteed. Users should request a renewal two days before the due date. Lending libraries reserve the right to recall an item or shorten its due date at any time; in such cases, interlibrary loan will communicate that information to the user via email.

Items Claimed Returned:  Please contact ILL staff immediately if we are holding you responsible for an item you believe was already returned. If a user claims an item checked out to them has been returned, but Interlibrary Loan has no record of the return, Interlibrary Loan staff will attempt to locate the item for two weeks. At that time, the user may be held responsible if the item is not found.

Costs & Billing

Interlibrary Loan generally will absorb standard borrowing costs up to $75 per request.

Fees in excess of $75 must be approved by the Interlibrary Loan Supervisor or the Associate Director of Public Services.

Interlibrary Loan reserves the right to limit the total quantity or cost of requests for a given user over a given period of time. 

Requests for current materials (e.g., pre-pubs) may require additional consultation and approval.

Generally, interlibrary borrowing costs are not passed on to users, with two exceptions:

  • Users may be given the option to cover the balance of borrowing costs above the thresholds described above. In such cases, users will be consulted before the material is borrowed from the lending library, and will have the option to cancel/withdraw the request before charges are incurred. Once charges are incurred, the user will be responsible for the balance as determined by the department of Interlibrary Loan, with no option to cancel or receive a refund.
  • Users will be required to pay any charges levied by the lending libraries for items that are lost, not returned, returned late, or damaged while in the user’s care.

In general, due to the nature of University billing practices, ILL is unable to issue refunds.

Account Blocking

ILL staff will block user accounts as needed to ensure compliance with guidelines, including for:

  • Overdue items. ILL staff will automatically block a user’s account when at least one item is overdue by 30 days or more. The account will remain blocked until all overdue items are returned and/or the user has paid for their replacement. Users who repeatedly keep ILL items past their due dates may be blocked for longer periods of time or permanently. 
  • Invalid emails. ILL staff will block a user’s account if unable to find a working email address for a user. The account will remain blocked until the user provides a valid email address.
  • Ineligible users. ILL staff will block a user’s account if it is determined that the user is ineligible. (For example, an undergraduate who does not enroll for a semester and thus is not a current student.)


The UMBC Library uses the CONTU Guidelines for guidance on interpreting Section 108 of U.S. Copyright Law and determining whether copyright permission for interlibrary loan requests must be sought and royalties paid. The following guidelines are in effect:

  1. We do not seek copyright for materials in the public domain, including items published before 1924, government publications, etc.
  2. For journals to which the UMBC Library does not currently subscribe, we may provide up to five articles, published in the past five years, from the same journal each calendar year without seeking copyright permission. We will request copyright permission and pay royalties, if any, for the sixth and subsequent copies in the same year. 
  3. We may provide one chapter, per book, per user (or the equivalent of 20% of the original work) without requesting copyright permission. We will request copyright permission and pay royalties, up to $75, for the second and subsequent copies, or for any copies made above 20%.
  4. We only seek copyright permissions and pay royalties on requests that are successfully filled and subsequently used by the user.
  5. We often purchase articles in lieu of paying royalties on journal articles. The maximum per-request total cost is $75.
  6. We reserve the right to apply a more nuanced interpretation of Section 108 of U.S. Copyright Law, where appropriate.
  7. We perform due diligence in alerting users to copyright protection by applying a copyright warning to the ILL services webpage and to all photocopied documents delivered to users.
  8. We retain records of all requests made and copyright royalties paid for three to four years.

Limits of Service

Interlibrary Loan reserves the right to limit the amount of time spent on a single request, based on available staffing and workloads. ILL staff may refer users to a reference librarian for assistance with obscure or otherwise difficult requests, and will require the user to consult with a librarian before additional staff time is spent on the request. 

Users must complete the “Not Needed After” date. ILL staff will cancel all requests that have reached the “Not Needed After” date without being filled. 


UMBC Interlibrary Loan accepts loan requests via OCLC (lender code MUB), Odyssey (, and Direct Request ( 

MUB is also a participant in the Maryland, Academic Pod E (Extensive), Academic Pod I (Intensive), Academic M, and Cosmo pods of RapidILL.

Copyright and Licensing

Provided that the borrowing library indicates compliance with CONTU Guidelines (CCG) or U.S. Copyright Law (CCL), the UMBC Library will scan excerpts from our print and microform collections and deliver these files using a secure electronic delivery method (Odyssey, Article

Exchange, or RapidX). ILL staff may provide one article or chapter per issue/book or 20% of the material per ILL request.

ILL staff consider licensing agreements and any applicable restrictions when deciding whether to lend e-resources.

All UMBC pull slips contain the following copyright warning:  “This material may be protected by Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S. Code).” As a lender, it is our responsibility to inform borrowers, so pull slips will always be scanned as part of a request. ILL staff also add a cover sheet with this warning to e-resources (unless the file itself has a copyright notice or DRM prevents editing of the file).

Loan Periods, Formats, and Conditions

In general, UMBC will loan:

  • Books and proceedings
  • Dissertations, if we have two copies, at least one of which circulates 

In general, UMBC will scan and provide electronic copies of the following, up to the limits prescribed by copyright:

  • Articles from current and bound periodicals 
  • Book chapters
  • Articles or other items from microforms

In general, UMBC will not loan:

  • Materials already on loan (i.e., items will not be recalled from users)
  • Reference, Special Collections, and Leisure Reading materials
  • Individual issues of current newspapers or journals
  • Bound periodicals
  • Media, including VHS, DVD, CD, or LP
  • Microforms

The loan period for general collection materials is 84 days.

Renewals and Recalls

We have an extended loan period of 12 weeks in order to minimize the need for renewals. However, if your user requires a renewal, we are generally happy to grant one as long as the item has not been requested by a USM user.

Items will be recalled before the end of the loan period ONLY if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The item is needed for course reserves, and the one on loan is the only available MUB copy.
  • The item is needed by a UMBC user and all attempts to acquire a copy through ILL have failed.

Charges and Payments for Services Rendered

UMBC charges the following lending fees:

Library Type

Per IFM Request

Per Request Invoiced

Not-for-profit in Maryland

No charge

No charge

Not-for-profit out of state









Rush Requests will also incur a $10 charge in addition to the ILL charge.

We do not charge reciprocal lending partners including University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) and Rapid Reciprocal.

OCLC Interlibrary Fee Management (IFM) is the preferred payment mechanism. If a borrowing library does not use OCLC IFM, an invoice for services rendered will be issued within 30 days. UMBC will also accept payment for services rendered via credit card, IFLA voucher, or dummy request. Our Federal ID# is 52-6002033.

Overdue Notices and Billing

The first overdue notice will be issued 14 days after the final due date. The second and final overdue notice will be issued 30 days after the final due date. (Invoices will be first emailed, then mailed to the borrowing institution.) Lost item invoices will be issued within 60 days after the final due date for materials that are overdue , or upon request from the borrowing library.

The minimum replacement cost for lost or damaged materials is $135 per piece. This amount includes the $100 replacement fee and the $35 processing fee. For items valued over $100, we charge the full replacement cost plus a $35 processing fee.

UMBC will accept payment for replacement via check or credit card.

In lieu of the $100 replacement fee, the borrowing library may contact UMBC to see if a replacement copy is acceptable. Acceptance of a replacement copy and its specifications (e.g. exact edition, same edition or newer) is at the discretion of the subject librarian. If the replacement copy is agreed upon by the subject librarian, a new invoice will be issued for the $35 processing fee.

If at any time during the billing process the original item is returned before payment from the borrowing library is received by UMBC, then all charges will be waived.

Unpaid Invoices and Suspension of Privileges

If no payment has been received within 30 days after the invoice was sent via email, a second invoice will be sent via email and USPS mail; borrowing privileges from UMBC will be suspended until payment is received or the book has been returned. Interlibrary loan service will not be provided to libraries with delinquent accounts.

Billing for Damaged Returns

If items are returned damaged they will be sent to Circulation for damage assessment. If it is determined that an item cannot be returned to circulation as-is, the borrowing library will be charged $35 for minor damage that can be repaired and a minimum fee of $135 ($100 replacement fee plus a $35 processing fee) if damage is severe enough to warrant replacement. For books with a replacement cost of more than $100, the borrowing library will be charged the full replacement cost plus the $35 fee. Damage can be assessed up to one year after the item’s final due date, but Preservation will attempt to reply within one week. The option to accept a replacement copy in lieu of the $135 replacement fee follows the policy outlined under Overdue Notices and Billing, above.

References: Library guideline 256
Library Unit Head meeting minutes 9/28/92. 10/12/92revised ; revised 10/12/92, fees revised 7/13/01reviewed ; reviewed 12/6/10 beck

complete revision, 9/3/2019, subsuming Guideline 259, Interlibrary Loan Services (Lending by UMBC) TAH