Interlibrary Loan Information

Purpose
Interlibrary loan is a service provided to obtain materials which are not available within the Florence County Library System or the Evergreen Consortium. Materials for pleasure reading, business use and serious study are borrowed from other library systems. Photocopies of non-circulating materials can also be acquired. The conditions of this service are set by the Interlibrary Code for the United States, 1994, revised 2001 (adapted by the American Library Association), local agreements and the regulations of individual lending libraries.

Who may use Interlibrary Loan
Patrons living in Florence County who are 14 years of age or older and holding a valid Florence County Library card without any outstanding fines may request up to three titles or place one subject request at a time. There is a flat-rate fee of $1.00 per request. Each patron may have only three interlibrary loan items in process at any one time. Due to staff and time constraints, we are rarely able to provide interlibrary loan service for public and private school or college student assignments.

Materials Available

  • Fiction and non-fiction books
  • Photocopies from magazines, journals or non-circulating books can be requested in accordance with the copyright law. Any request for photocopies from magazines or journals must include the full citation of the article. The full name of the journal, full name of the article, author of the article, volume and number and/or date of the issue and page numbers of the article must be included or the request may not be filled.
  • Microfilm may be available, depending on the request. Many libraries are reluctant to ship microfilm and may charge a fee to do so.
  • Audio-visual materials may be obtained. However, many libraries will not ship AV items and so these tend to be more difficult to find.

Materials NOT Available
The following types of materials cannot be requested:

  • Books owned by this library or owned by Evergreen Consortium libraries

    Patrons may request books owned by the branch libraries or by Evergreen Consortium libraries at the headquarters’ reference desk or at any branch library. Exceptions will be made for lost or missing items. Exceptions may be made for items that are non-circulating (reference materials or items found in the South Carolina Room). Books or materials that are currently checked out may be placed on reserve by the patron but cannot be requested through interlibrary loan.

  • Books published within the past six months

    Patrons may request that the new book be purchased for the Florence County Library’s collection.

  • Periodical volumes or issues, reference books, and rare and valuable materials such as manuscripts.

How Interlibrary Loan Works
All requests should be put on request forms which are available at the reference desk. Patrons of the branch libraries may make requests through their respective libraries or at the headquarters’ reference desk. In order for the books to be routed to the correct branch, the patron must designate on the request form at which branch library they wish to collect the item. Complete citations should be supplied, especially in the case of a photocopy request. The public access catalog and the serial holding should be checked before a request is made to determine whether or not the item is available within the Florence County Library System or the Evergreen Consortium.

Time
Plan ahead when requesting materials. The time necessary for an interlibrary loan to arrive depends on the difficulty of the request, the distance of the lending library from Florence and the backlog of inter-library loan requests. A minimum of two to four weeks is needed in most cases to search for, process and retrieve each request.

Cost
The Florence County Library System charges a flat-rate fee of $1.00 per interlibrary loan request to help defray postage costs. In addition, any fees assessed by the lending library will also be passed on to the borrowing patron. Interlibrary loan requests involving such fees will not be made without the patron’s authorization. All materials borrowed through interlibrary loan must be returned to the circulation department. Materials returned late are subject to the same fines as Florence County materials plus any fees assessed by the lending library.

Notification
When the material arrives and is processed, the patron will be notified by telephone, email or mail. Materials must be picked up and checked out through the circulation department as with any Florence County Library book. Patrons who do not pick up requested material will be charged the $1.00 fee and may be suspended from using the interlibrary loan system. Requests must be cancelled in a timely manner by the patron if they are no longer needed.

Loan Period

The loan period is determined by the lending library and is usually two to three weeks. We cannot change a due date or lengthen the loan period designated by the lending library.

Renewals are determined by the lending library. The circulation staff cannot renew an interlibrary loan book. The interlibrary loan librarian must contact the individual lending library with any renewal request. A renewal request by telephone or in person must be made at least four days in advance of the due date as lending libraries will not renew any overdue materials.

Prompt return of interlibrary loan materials is requested of all patrons. Any overdue fine charged by the lending library will be charged to the patron’s account.

Restrictions
Lending libraries determine any conditions regarding the use of their materials. Limitations such as “no renewals” or “in-house use only” must be honored.

Returning Materials
All materials borrowed through interlibrary loan must be returned to the circulation department. Books returned late are subject to the same fines as Florence County Library books. Failure to return interlibrary loan materials on time may result in the cancellation of the patron’s inter-library loan privilege. Late returns jeopardize the ability of Florence County Library to borrow materials in the future.

Questions
For more information, contact Interlibrary Loan Services at the Florence County Library, 413-7074.