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Library Policies: Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan Policy


Current students, faculty, and staff of Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) may borrow materials from libraries outside of the LaChance Library consortia through the service of interlibrary loan. Books, journal articles, and audiovisual materials that are not owned by LaChance Library or are not available to MWCC patrons in the library’s databases may be requested from other libraries.
This is a free service offered to current students, faculty, and staff of MWCC, but there are instances where patrons can agree to pay for a loan. If a loan will incur a fee, or if a library applies special restrictions to the loan, the patron will be contacted before the request is made, and the patron will decide if the payment or loan restrictions will be honored.
MWCC students who are attending classes online may utilize the interlibrary loan service for articles that can be transmitted electronically. Requests for books and library materials will be accepted, but students will be required to pick up physical library materials at the Gardner campus. Faculty and staff matriculating at another institution may be better served by that institution’s resources, and so are encouraged to contact library staff at that institution.
Patrons will be limited to no more than 5 loan requests per day.



Generally, any item that is not owned by LaChance Library may be borrowed from another library. Patrons may request loans of books and other materials or photocopies of parts of books or journal articles. There are exceptions, and the owning library has the right to loan or not loan an item. Please note the following:

Most reference material cannot be requested through interlibrary loan. This includes material such as encyclopedias, dictionaries or other multivolume general information sources.
Many libraries will not loan DVDs or other A/V materials. A request may be submitted, but the loan cannot be guaranteed.
To comply with the interlibrary loan provision of the Copyright Act, the Library is limited to requesting copies of five articles published within the past five years from a particular journal title per calendar year.


Articles received through interlibrary loan become the property of the patron, and do not have to be returned.  The amount of time that a patron may keep a borrowed book or other item is determined by the owning library. Each interlibrary loan is wrapped in a “book band,” and information regarding the loan, including the due date, is printed on the band. The due date is typically several days before the date set by the owning library to allow for delivery from our library to theirs.


In all instances, the interlibrary loan office will attempt to borrow materials from libraries that do not charge a fee and from libraries that are within our delivery route that would incur no postage fees. Any charges that a loan incurs will be the responsibility of the requestor. The interlibrary loan staff will contact a patron before a loan that will generate a charge is requested. The patron will be required to pay for the loan before it can be taken from the library. If a patron does not pick up a loan that has a charge attached, the patron will still be responsible for the cost.


Items may be renewed only at the discretion of the lending library. Patrons should contact the interlibrary loan officeat least one day before the item is due when asking for a renewal. All interlibrary loans are subject to recall at any time by the lending library.


Patrons are expected to return the borrowed materials on or before the due date printed on the book band. If an item is one week overdue, the patron will be contacted and instructed to return the item. If the item continues to be overdue after 4 weeks, the patron will be contacted and will be billed for the full replacement cost of the item if the item is not returned. If the patron is a student, that student’s academic record will be “blocked” and will remain blocked until the loan/payment is resolved. Any further interlibrary loan activity will be suspended until the item is returned or the fine is paid.


The charge for lost or unreturned items will be determined by the lending library. The person borrowing the item will be responsible for any charges, including processing fees, for any items he/she lost or did not return.


Typically, an interlibrary loan request is fulfilled within 10 days to 2 weeks. Time may be extended due to uncontrollable circumstances.


The LaChance Library is bound by any restrictions placed on loans by the lending library. These may include restricting use of material to within the Library, obtaining a signature of the borrower, and/or prohibiting photocopying.


All patrons must comply with copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which state the following:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.”

If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
(For comprehensive copyright information, please see:



A request for an interlibrary loan may be made in a variety of ways. In every instance, complete bibliographic information is required. The required information includes: title, author, publication date, page numbers, patron name and contact information, and “needed by” date for the material.

Forms: A patron may complete a paper form available at the Research Help Desk at the Gardner campus.
Email: A patron may send an online request, including all of the required information as identified above


The patron will be notified by email (preferred) or by phone when the item is ready to be picked up. For books and other returnable materials, the due date will be stamped on the book band accompanying the material. Articles will be delivered electronically whenever possible. If received in print, the patron will be expected to pick the item up in the Library. Articles received in either electronic or print format become the property of the patron.


At the end of the stated loan period, the patron will be responsible for returning the material to the library. All materials must be returned to the Circulation Desk at the Gardner campus.


Mount Wachusett Community College Home Page

Circulation Desk 978-630-9125 Email the Circulation Desk
Research Help Desk 978-630-9338 Email the Research Help Desk
Academic Support Center 978-630-9333 Email the Academic Support Center
LIVE CHAT ASSISTANCE is available during regular LIBRARY HOURS.