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Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary Loan Service resumes July 1 with changes

The Perth and District Union Public Library is pleased to announce it will be resuming interlibrary loan services, with some changes, as of July 1, 2019.

In April 2019, provincial funding to the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) was cut 50% (from around $3 million to $1.5 million). SOLS negotiates and coordinates consortia purchasing of online library products such as eBooks, provides library staff training, legal and policy advice, and manages interlibrary loan amongst Ontario’s southern libraries. With the interlibrary loan delivery service, SOLS facilitates fast and efficient sharing of books and other materials between libraries to increase selection and decrease duplication, through a shared database and courier network. Perth’s library users borrowed an average of 300 items each month from other Ontario libraries, and Perth lent 150 items, in the first three months of 2019 alone.

Due to this cut, the interlibrary loan van delivery service was cancelled by SOLS as of April 26, 2019. In future, SOLS will preserve the shared library database that makes interlibrary loan possible, and interlibrary loan delivery will be via Canada Post using the library rate, with SOLS providing partial postage reimbursement to local libraries. Based on internal circulation and average local postage costs, the Perth Union Library estimates that the postage cost will be $3000 annually, with an additional $700 in supplies. They currently project a SOLS postage reimbursement of 45% for a total cost of $2,300 to the library annually.

“Participating in interlibrary loan is an important service that is a great benefit to our community in providing access to books that we don’t have locally”, said Erika Heesen, CEO. “This service was previously funded by SOLS, with local libraries contributing staff time in managing and packaging loans. With the switch to Canada Post and partial postage reimbursement, part of that shipping cost now needs to be absorbed by our local library”.

At their meeting on June 17, the Perth and District Union Public Library Board made the decision to make use of a bequest and funds from reserves to continue interlibrary loan and expand book club sets in 2019. This cost will also be assessed when reviewing the library’s budget in the fall in order to continue interlibrary loan in future years.

“Interlibrary loan delivery via Canada Post will undoubtedly be significantly slower, and will require more staff time,” added Heesen. “The library is working to do things differently and work within this new system. Consequently, we will be reinstating interlibrary loan with a few changes”.

Individuals who wish to borrow an item from another library must now sign up for patron access interlibrary loan. Using a computer with internet access, users can place their request themselves anywhere, anytime at their convenience. Users will be limited to 3 requests per month. The library will also be expanding their collection of “Book Club Sets” to continue to meet the needs of local book clubs. Book clubs are encouraged to use these sets instead of interlibrary loan. The library requests that local book clubs who would like to support the library consider a donation of funds or books to expand the “Book Club Sets”.

Letter sent from the Perth and District Union Public Library Board to Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Hon. Michael Tibollo, April 26, 2019


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Interlibrary Loan?
Any borrowed book or item that comes from another library outside of the Perth & District Union Public Library system is considered an interlibrary loan. Patrons must check the Perth & District Union Public Library’s catalogue first to determine if the item is available within our system prior to making an interlibrary loan request to other libraries.

How do I request an Interlibrary Loan?
Patrons will now need to request their own interlibrary loans. You can use patron access interlibrary loan through INFO Ontario to place your request yourself from the library, work, school, home … anywhere, anytime at your convenience. Requests are limited to 3 requests per patron per month, so choose carefully. If you are unable to place your own requests library staff can assist you.

To register for patron access, provide your full name, home phone number, email and library card number in an email to info@perthunionlibrary.ca or by phone at 613-267-1224, or visit us at the library.
For instructions on how to place your own request, watch this YouTube video provided by the Southern Ontario Library Service.

I'm in a book club. How will I get my books?
The library will continue to offer our Book Club in a Box service, which provides multiple copies of a title. With the new interlibrary loan delivery system, we anticipate difficulty in borrowing the number of titles needed and in doing so in a timely fashion for monthly book club meetings. You are welcome to submit your own individual interlibrary loan requests, but please be aware that the library will no longer directly manage interlibrary loan book club requests and cannot guarantee your book will arrive for a specific date. We encourage all book clubs to use our book club sets instead of interlibrary loan. We currently have 18 book club sets and plan to expand this collection to 60 titles. We are in the process of purchasing titles and setting up a new kit management system. We especially thank the three book clubs who have already stepped forward and donated funds or books to assist us with expanding this collection for everyone to enjoy. If your book club would like to do the same, you can contribute via our CanadaHelps page or by speaking with library staff.

Can I make a donation to help with the cost of postage? Can I volunteer to drive books around to other libraries?
While the library appreciates any donation you would like to make, the Ontario Public Libraries Act guarantees free admission to a public library and access to books, and precludes libraries from charging their users for materials borrowed on interlibrary loan. We also appreciate our volunteers! However, the management involved in setting up and running a volunteer courier system would require far more library staff time than using the existing Canada Post model.

Will it take longer for my request to arrive?
Yes, it will, but this varies depending on the availability of the item. Many requests are filled in as little as two weeks but harder to find items could take up to six weeks or longer.

What if I don’t find what I am looking for?
Contact us at info@perthunionlibrary.ca. You will be contacted if additional information is needed regarding your request.

How can I monitor the progress of my requests?
You can view the status of your request by looking at “My Requests” on the side-bar of the page to know when it has been processed, shipped and received. You can also observe if the interlibrary loan request has been cancelled because we own the item or the policies of the lending library prohibit loan. If there is any problem with your request library staff will alert you. Please do not resubmit your request.

How will I be notified that my material is available?
Once the item has been received at the library, library staff will inform you by telephone or e-mail. Prompt pick-up ensures that you will have the maximum borrowing time.

How do I cancel a request or renew a borrowed item due date?
You cannot cancel an interlibrary loan request or renew a due date on line. Renewing a book is subject to approval by the lending library. Please contact us at 613-267-1224 or info@perthunionlibrary.ca.


Is there anything I can do to address the provincial funding cut to SOLS?

Contact the Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport, Hon. Lisa MacLeod (416-314-1400 | minister.mtcs@ontario.ca) and our local MPP, Randy Hillier (613-267-8239 | contact form), to share how this impacts you.

The library is also collecting these stories. You can also share your story with us by filling out this form or sharing on social media using #mylibrary.

Sign the petition at change.org or at the library.



Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
~ Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Perth & District Union Public Library
30 Herriott Street | Perth ON  K7H 1T2
Telephone: (613) 267-1224

Email: info@perthunionlibrary.ca

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