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Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Plan 2011 - 2016

This plan for the Pacific Northwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is predicated on the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Resource Sharing Plan as published with the Request for Proposal 2011-2016, RML Contracts. This regional plan includes additional elements that are specific to and meet the needs of the Pacific Northwest. Libraries affected by this plan should also be familiar with policy information in the National Library of Medicine's Fact Sheet entitled "Interlibrary Loan Policy," and with the National Interlibrary Loan Code of the American Library Association.

The NN/LM PNR staff has the responsibility of coordinating regional interlibrary loan policies, initiatives, systems, and databases that relate to the use of NLM products and services. The goal of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Resource Sharing Plan is to provide health information in a timely and cost-effective manner to health professionals and the public in a shared resources environment that spans both traditional interlibrary loan and other library mediated information services.


1. General interlibrary loan (ILL) policy in the Pacific Northwest

Interlibrary loan is to be used to augment a library's collection; it is not intended to substitute for journal subscriptions or book purchases which are core materials for a library's clientele. High quality and timely service is to be encouraged.

The National Library of Medicine recommends that libraries attempt to use local, regional and consoritum resources first.

Libraries may charge for filling interlibrary loans. It is recommended that libraries fill requests for other NN/LM libraries on a cost recovery basis. The “National Maximum Charge” that limited Resource Libraries to charging $11 was removed as a requirement for Resource Libraries in the NN/LM contracts for 2011-2016. The change was effective May 1, 2011. As needed, Resource Libraries may raise ILL fees to recover costs. Primary Access Libraries and Other libraries were already able to charge fees necessary for cost recovery. As always, all charges and provided services must comply with copyright law.

2. Interlibrary loan information on Pacific Northwest libraries

To ensure the accuracy of interlibrary loan information in the Directory of Health Sciences Libraries and Network Members and DOCLINE's Institutions records, Pacific Northwest health libraries are expected to update their Institution record whenever information changes.

3. Locator Tools

The serials locator tool for the Pacific Northwest is DOCLINE's Serial Holdings. Libraries must update their holdings at least once every year or risk being dropped from DOCLINE.


Within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, DOCLINE is an important interlibrary loan tool. DOCLINE usage is free to participants, but depends on DOCLINE libraries' careful compliance with policies and procedures. The NN/LM PNR and the Resource Sharing Committee monitor DOCLINE usage by the Region's DOCLINE users and may question individual libraries' practices. DOCLINE users should follow the instructions as delineated in NLM's National Network of Libraries of Medicine Document Delivery Plan for the 2011-2016 NN/LM contract period.

  • Libraries with at least 25 current journal subscriptions must input their holdings information to DOCLINE Serial Holdings in order to participate in DOCLINE.
  • DOCLINE participants are expected to log into and check DOCLINE every working day, although DOCLINE access will not be denied to health libraries in the Pacific Northwest where DOCLINE is read less often because of part-time staffing. It is also recognized that vacations and illness may preclude the reading of DOCLINE; libraries are not required to notify other libraries in case of limited staff absences. When circumstances prevent DOCLINE use for three or more consecutive working days, libraries should use the DOCLINE Hold Request to temporarily deactivate their account..
  • Libraries should follow the NN/LM PNR policy for Routing Table Preparation.
  • If a library provides Rush Service, the account should be checked daily and email alerts set up to notify the lending library when a rush request is received.

5. Loansome Doc

Loansome Doc, the National Library of Medicine's document ordering capability for PubMed users, allows health professionals to electronically order documents from a DOCLINE library. PubMed users ordering documents must identify a DOCLINE library which is willing to serve them. Loansome Doc is a means for a PubMed user to communicate with his or her library (used in place of written messages, phone calls, or other electronic messaging systems) and, as such, should not affect the borrowing/lending relationship between libraries. PubMed users who call the NN/LM PNR for referral to a library will receive the following response:

  • At least three library services will be suggested and users will be encouraged to make their own choices.
  • At least one of the receommended library services will be the closest DOCLINE library that will accept Loansome Doc users.
  • If the health professional has an affiliation with a library offering Loansome Doc services, that library will be suggested.
  • At least one of the recommended library services will be a very large collection--a resource library in the state or another sizeable collection.
  • Where appropriate, a library service with subject expertise will be in the list of suggestions (for example, a cancer research center library for an oncologist).
  • The NN/LM PNR encourages consortia to make arrangements for PubMed users in their area. Where such arrangements are in place and are reported to the NN/LM PNR, users will be referred to the consortium.
  • The NN/LM PNR will not attempt to tell users about the pricing or service policies of a library, merely that prices and services vary and that arrangements must be made individually with the DOCLINE library.