Reciprocal Agreement

Nebraska Library Association - College and University Section

I. Definition

Reciprocal borrowing is a policy whereby the faculty, staff and students of cooperating college and university libraries in Nebraska may, on site, borrow library materials at other, cooperating academic libraries.

In the following document, "home library" designates an institution whose users borrow materials from another, cooperating library.  "Host library" refers to an institution lending materials to individuals visiting from other campuses.

II. Purpose

The purpose of the Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement is to provide the academic community with convenient access to circulating library materials, for teaching and research, as an alternative to interlibrary loan.

III.  Scope

Library users eligible for reciprocal borrowing are those with valid faculty, staff, or student identification cards from a cooperating institution. "Valid" identification is defined by the host library.

This Agreement is intended to complement, not invalidate, reciprocal borrowing arrangements which may exist between varying types of cooperating institutions.

It is understood that users may approach another library directly, without necessarily being referred by their own institution.  This is entirely appropriate under the terms of this agreement, provided that the home library complies with the responsibilities outlined below.

To the extent that it is necessary for the cooperating libraries to maintain records of delinquent borrowers, such records will be maintained in confidence and will not be available to persons other than those involved in the return of library materials or the assessment and collection of related charges.

IV.  Responsibilities of Home Libraries

1. Each cooperating library should provide resources to support the ordinary teaching and research needs of their own user community.  Home libraries must exhaust their own resources before referring their clientele to other academic collections.

2. The home library should assist in enforcing compliance with the conditions of the loan, as established by the host.  All overdues, recalls, or fines issued by the host should be dealt with by the home institution using the same means used to enforce its own policies, provided that the home institution is given timely notice of a borrower's delinquent status.  The home library is not responsible, however, for collecting fines or other charges its patron(s) may owe to another institution. Patrons must pay the host library directly.

3. Each library should inform its users of the purpose of the Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement, and of its policy of compliance with the host library's conditions, through whatever channels normally are used to convey library policy.

4. Referrals should be based, whenever possible, on prior knowledge of the host library's collection, as obtained from relevant bibliographic location sources, or directly from the host.  This information should be relayed as completely and accurately as possible to users before they visit the host site.

5. Unless specifically forbidden by the host library, copying borrowed material is permitted provided that it does not violate copyright law and that no damage to the original material would result.

6. Borrowed materials should be returned directly to the host library by the borrowers, or through any other channels acceptable to the host.  All material returned by mail should be addressed to the circulation department of the host library.

V. Responsibilities of Host Libraries

1. As far as possible, host libraries should require only a valid identification card to permit visiting faculty, staff, and students to charge out their materials.  Hosts are encouraged to be as generous as possible in extending borrowing privileges to visitors.

2. Host libraries are encouraged to provide users visiting from other campuses with reference assistance, especially that which can only be provided on site, with due consideration to the interests of their primary clientele.

3. Each cooperating library should formulate a statement of policy to clarify details of this agreement, such as loan periods, hold and clearance procedures, etc.  This statement should be made available to other participants in the Agreement upon request.

VI.  Maintaining the Agreement

Each library is responsible for complying with the provisions of the Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement in good faith.  Host libraries have the option of suspending reciprocal borrowing privileges to libraries that fail to comply with these provisions.

All records and correspondence of lasting significance that pertain to the Agreement are maintained by the Nebraska Library Association College and University Section.

Revisions to this document may be introduced at either the NLA College and University Section spring meeting or at the Section's fall business meeting, held during the NLA annual convention.  Motion(s) may then be voted on by a quorum of the Section members present.

Rev. July 20, 1990; Reaffirmed with no changes February 1999 For questions regarding this document, contact the C&U Webmaster.