The Library is closed onsite, open online. See updates here.

Interlibrary Lending Policy

Version: 3.0
Last Amendment: 5 May 2015
Approved by: Executive
Policy owner/sponsor: Executive Director, Library and Information Services
Policy Contact Officer: Coordinator, Information and Access
Policy No: PD/46[v3]
TRIM File No: 57544
Date approved: 24/07/2018
Next review: 24/07/2021

Policy statement

The State Library of New South Wales is committed to the principles of resource sharing and cooperates with other libraries in New South Wales, across Australia and overseas in interlibrary lending.

The purpose of this policy is to outline the types of items available for loan or copy from the State Library of New South Wales to other libraries. It also describes the conditions of supply.


Interlibrary loan - a service where one library obtains an item for a library member by borrowing from another library.

Document delivery - a service where one library obtains a copy of part of a work for a library member by requesting it from another library.

Bulk loans – a selection of multicultural and alternative format material lent to NSW public libraries.

Target audience

This policy applies to libraries. State Library of New South Wales staff also refer to this policy to determine material types suitable for loan.

Items on loan to cultural institutions for exhibitions are covered in the Guidelines & conditions for external exhibition loans.

Loans of collection items to staff are covered by the Staff Loans Policy.

Operational requirements

The State Library of New South Wales supports the National & State Libraries Australasia Collaborative Lending Principals and follows the Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code in the administration of this policy.


Who can borrow - interlibrary loans
  • Libraries on behalf of their members.
Who can borrow - bulk loans
  • NSW public libraries on behalf of their members.
Conditions of supply
  • NSW public libraries may allow their members to take loaned items home unless otherwise specified.
  • All other libraries must ensure items loaned from the State Library are used within their library.
  • The loan of an item is at the discretion of the State Library.
  • The physical condition of an item may affect the availability for a loan or copy.
Items available for loan
  • Books published after 1960 from the State Reference Library collection.
  • Audiovisual materials including video or DVD to NSW public libraries only.
  • Bulk loans of community language and ESL material to NSW public libraries only. See section on Multicultural bulk loans below.
Items not available for loan
  • Books published before 1960.
  • Mitchell and Dixson Library collections.
  • Large print and talking books are no longer available for loan directly from the State Library. These collections are on long term loan to NSW public libraries, and requests to borrow may be made with the holding Library. See the State Library of NSW catalogue for location details.
  • Special Collections including original material and rare books, legal deposit items, reference collection items, microfilms and microfiche.
  • Serials in all formats including journals, newspapers, annual reports, loose leaf publications and yearbooks.
  • Library material that is considered vulnerable for preservation or security reasons, e.g. 16mm film.
  • Library material in high demand by onsite readers.

If not available for loan, it may be possible to order a copy.

Period of loan

The standard loan period for all libraries is eight (8) weeks with no renewal.

Multicultural bulk loans – see section below.

Loan fees
  • The State Library applies the standard fees and charges as outlined in the Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code 2013.
  • Core requests for loans are supplied free of charge to New South Wales public libraries. It is expected that no charges will be passed on to the public for access to these items.
  • The borrowing library is advised prior to supply if the fee exceeds the standard service charge.
Replacement costs

The borrowing library is responsible for maintaining the condition of items borrowed from the State Library.

The borrowing library is required to notify the State Library as soon as possible if an item has been lost or damaged.

A standard replacement cost will be charged for a lost or damaged item:

  • Monograph material: $120.00 + GST, per title
  • Films including videos, DVDs: $120.00 + GST, per title
  • Multicultural collection items: $45.00 + GST, per title


Multicultural bulk loans

The State Library has collections of books in 42 community languages, which can be borrowed by New South Wales public libraries on behalf of library members. English as a Second Language (ESL) items can also be requested.

New South Wales Public Libraries can access the service in two ways:

  • libraries who borrow from the community language collections heavily can have a large loan from a language for 12 months (up to 300 items depending on which language)
  • requests for bulk loans can be placed using the multicultural bulk loan request form on an 'as needed' basis. Libraries can request ten, twenty or thirty items for a loan period of three or six months.

English large print and talking books have been distributed to NSW public libraries on long term loan.

New South Wales Public Libraries can manage their bulk loans through the Library website.


The Executive Director, Library and Information Services and Dixson Librarian, and the Executive Director, Public Libraries and Engagement are responsible for:

  • leading the implementation of this policy including its conformity to the Australian ILRS Code.

The Executive Committee is responsible for:

  • ensuring the policy is communicated to managers, supervisors and coordinators
  • ensuring that the policy is reviewed every three years.

The Manager, Information & Access and Manager, Public Library Services are responsible for:

  • implementing the policy and related procedures
  • managing processes relevant to this policy
  • ensuring the policy is communicated effectively to managers, supervisors and coordinators.

Manager, Collection Strategy & Development is responsible for:

  • providing advice on the review of replacement costs for lost or damaged items
  • managing process for withdrawal and replacing lost or damaged items.

Information & Access and Public Library Services Coordinators and supervisors are responsible for:

  • ensuring there is ongoing and effective communication with staff about processes relevant to this policy
  • the provision of an interlibrary loan and document supply service in line with the conditions of this policy.

State Library staff are responsible for:

  • understanding and complying with this policy.

Most relevant legislation

  • Copyright Act 1968
  • Library Act 1939
  • Library Regulation 2010
  • State Records Act 1998
  • Australian ILRS Code 2013
  • Outgoing Loans Policy
  • Staff Loans Policy

Document history and version control

Version Date approved Approved by Brief description
1.0 July 2009 State Librarian Lending Policy
2.0 05 May 2015 Executive Name changed to Interlibrary Lending Policy and updated
3.0 24 July 2018 Executive Review of policy