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Copyright Center

Copyright and Interlibrary Loan

Copyright and Interlibrary Loan

What is Interlibrary Loan?  According to the American Library Association's Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, the definition for Interlibrary Loan is, "the process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library."  The function of Interlibrary Loan or (ILL) is to share resources.  Material that qualifies for this lending and borrowing process are resources such as books, journal and newspaper articles, and even audio-visual material.  Exchanging material that has been photocopied requires regulation to limit the liability of the library.  Therefore, the library must qualify as a § 108 library which is described below.

Section 108.  Limitations on exclusive rights:  Reproduction by libraries and archives

    Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Code explains the rights and limitations of libraries and archives to make reproductions of copyrighted material, without having to obtain permission from the copyright holder.   

        Subsections of § 108*

            (a) Qualifying as a § 108 library

            (b) Library copies for preservation

            (c) Library copies for replacement

            (d) Patron copies - single articles or small portions of larger works

            (e) Patron copies - entire works or substantial portions

            (f) Warning notices and infringement liability

            (g) Rights of reproduction and distribution

            (h) Copying in the last 20 years of copyright term

            (i)  Works restricted from copying

            * The summaries of the Section 108 subsections were obtained with permission from one of The Copyright Clearance Center's webinars presented by Dru Zuretti.

CONTU Guidelines  (National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyright Works)   

    There were concerns about Section 108(g)(2) "...such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of such work." These guidelines help direct librarians and copyright owners to understand the amount of photocopying for use in interlibrary loan.

    CONTU Guidelines

  • Photocopying materials applies to material that is less than five years old only ("rule of five").
  • A maximum of five copies may be made from a single periodical in one calendar year ("rule of five").
  • A library may obtain an article from another library, if borrowing library has subscription and it is not readily available, and consider it taken from own collection.
  • A copyright compliance statement must accompany all ILL requests.  Also, the requesting library must keep a record of all requests for three calendar years after the request.
  • More than six copies taken from a book or non-periodical item are not permitted and will require permission.

Useful Links:

    Copyright Clearance Center's "Copyright on Campus" - ILL  The Copyright Clearance Center provides information on the legalities of copyright and interlibrary loan.

    Section 108 Spinner Try this interactive tool to see what the qualifications are for: preservation, replacement, portions for user, entire works for users, and the last 20 years.

Interested in submitting a request through Interlibrary Loan?  Click here to complete the Interlibrary Loan Request form.

    Interlibrary Loan Qualifications:

      * Material needed for academic research (not course textbooks) that is unavailable at the Bellevue University Library.

      * Currently enrolled Bellevue University students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community users who are in good standing with the library.