Responsibilities of requesting and supplying libraries ILDS good practice guidelines

Use these guidelines conjunction with any regional/local guidelines.

5.  Responsibilities of the requesting library 

Ensure all details of the request are correct and complete before submission. 

For journal articles: 

  1. Full citation details (or commonly understood abbreviations) 

  1. First author 

  1. First few words of the title 

For books, as a minimum: 

  1. Author 

  1. Title 

  1. Year 

  1. Edition (if applicable) 

For all requests: 

  • Your library code  

  • Your collaborative network name (if applying to another network) 

  • Your e-mail address 

  • Your full postal address  

  • Request number (if required for library management systems) 

  • The date the you are placing the request 

For data protection reasons, do not include the requester’s details. 

Unless you use a shared request management system, send requests via e-mail.  Include a clear indication in subject line whether it is document or loan you are requesting.  Urgent requests may be made by phone but use discretion when describing requests as urgent. 

If you need more than three requests from the same library at the same time, contact the library before applying to discuss, unless there is already an arrangement in place.  

Do not: 

  • Make requests that would infringe copyright if supplied. If a declaration is required for the copy being requested, it is your responsibility to obtain this.  Unless you know that the copy will be supplied under the terms of the CLA Licence, it is safest to assume that a declaration is required. 

  • Request any article that you are able to access electronically, unless for any reason you cannot access it yourself within the required timeframe.   

  • Create a digital copy of a print article if there is an electronic copy available and accessible within the required timeframe in the NHS in England (in order to comply with the CLA licence). 

  • Request multiple copies of single items. 

  • Assume that book loans will be renewed.  

  • Apply to more than one library in more than one collaborative network on the same request (individual network protocols may vary).  


  • Request items which are included in journal bundles from your own network before approaching libraries in other networks. 

6.  Responsibilities of the supplying library 

Requests should be processed as soon as possible after receipt, preferably within 2 working days, and certainly no later than five working days.  If you are unable to supply, or there will be a delay, let the requesting library know as soon as possible and the reason.  Supplying libraries reserve the right to decline a request but should provide a reason. 

Supply articles electronically. 

Include the correct copyright statement with the copy supplied, so that the requesting library can forward this to their customer (see appendix B). 

Where post must be used, second class post is assumed. Items should be sent in secure, protective and clearly addressed packaging. Do not use staples.  

Page last reviewed: 3 January 2023