Interlibrary Lending Policy

How we manage the lending of library material from the State Library’s collections to other libraries.

Policy No: PD/46
Version: 4.0
Last Amendment:  24/7/2018
Policy owner/sponsor: Executive Director, Library and Information Services
Branch contact:  Coordinator, Information & Access
Approved by: Executive
Date approved: 08/09/2021
Next review: 08/09/2024

Policy statement

The State Library of New South Wales is committed to the principles of resource sharing and cooperates with other libraries in New South Wales, across Australia and overseas in interlibrary lending. 

The purpose of this policy is to outline the types of items available for loan or copy from the State Library of New South Wales to other libraries. It also describes the conditions of supply. 

Target audience

This policy applies to libraries requesting material from the State Library of New South Wales. State Library of New South Wales staff also refer to this policy to determine material types suitable for loan.

Items on loan to cultural institutions for exhibitions are covered in the Outgoing Loans Policy.

Operational requirements

The State Library of New South Wales supports the Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code in the administration of this policy.

Who can borrow interlibrary loans

  • Libraries on behalf of their members

Who can borrow bulk loans

  • NSW public libraries on behalf of their members

Conditions of supply

  • NSW public libraries may allow their members to take loaned items home unless otherwise specified
  • All other libraries must ensure items loaned from the State Library are used within their library
  • The loan of an item is at the discretion of the State Library
  • The physical condition of an item may affect the availability for a loan

Items available for loan

  • Books published in or after 1970 from the State Reference Library collection
  • Audiovisual materials including video or DVD to NSW public libraries only

Items not available for loan

  • Books published before 1970
  • Mitchell and Dixson Library collections
  • Large print and talking books. These collections are on long term loan to NSW public libraries, and requests to borrow may be made with the holding Library. See the State Library of NSW catalogue for location details..
  • Special Collections including original material and rare books, legal deposit items, Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room reference collection items, microfilms and microfiche
  • Serials in all formats including journals, newspapers, annual reports, loose leaf publications and yearbooks
  • Library material that is considered vulnerable for preservation or security reasons eg. 16mm film
  • Library material in high demand by onsite readers.

If not available for loan, it may be possible to order a copy.

Period of loan

  • The standard loan period for all libraries is eight (8) weeks with no renewal

Loan fees

  • The State Library applies the standard fees and charges as outlined in the Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code
  • Core requests for loans are supplied free of charge to New South Wales public libraries. It is expected that no charges will be passed on to the public for access to these items
  • The borrowing library is advised prior to supply if the fee exceeds the standard service charge

Replacement costs


The borrowing library is responsible for maintaining the condition of items borrowed from the State Library

The borrowing library is required to notify the State Library as soon as possible if an item has been lost or damaged

A standard replacement cost will be charged for a lost or damaged item:

  • State Reference Library books, videos and DVDs: $120.00 + GST, per title
  • Multicultural collection items, large print and talking books: $45.00 + GST, per title

Multicultural bulk loans

The State Library has collections of books in 43 community languages, which can be borrowed by New South Wales public libraries on behalf of library members. Each language collection has adult fiction and non-fiction books across a range of genres and subjects. Children's books are also available, including board books, picture books, chapter books, non-fiction and bilingual books in selected languages. Audio and Large Print books are available in some languages.

New South Wales public libraries can also request English as a Second Language (ESL) items. This collection is designed to support the independent learning of English, with a focus on beginner and intermediate level ESL resources in both book and audio format. The collection has a large number of readers, bilingual dictionaries, industry specific resources and English for specific language speakers.

Public Libraries can place a request using the multicultural bulk loan request form on an 'as needed' basis. Libraries can request ten, twenty or thirty items for a loan period of three or six months. Libraries can manage their bulk loans through the Library website.

Large print & audiobook collections

The State Library of NSW maintains a collection of large print books and audiobooks. The entire large print and audiobook collections have been made available to NSW public libraries on long term loan. These collections are allocated based on an expression of interest.

The State Library catalogue indicates where an item is held at the library service level. For example Inner West Libraries or Riverina Regional Library.


The Executive Director, Library and Information Services and Dixson Librarian, and the Manager, Public Library Services are responsible for

The Executive Committee is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the policy is reviewed every three years.

The Manager, Information & Access and Manager, Public Library Services are responsible for:

  • implementing the policy and related procedures
  • managing processes relevant to this policy
  • ensuring the policy is communicated effectively to managers, supervisors and coordinators

Manager, Collection Strategy & Development

  • Providing advice on the review of replacement costs for lost or damaged items
  • Managing process for withdrawal and replacing lost or damaged items

Information & Access and Public Library Services Coordinators and supervisors are responsible for:

  • ensuring there is ongoing and effective communication with staff about processes relevant to this policy.
  • the provision of an interlibrary loan and document supply service in line with the conditions of this policy.

State Library staff are responsible for:

  • understanding and complying with this policy.

Related key legislation and policy

Most relevant legislation

  • Copyright Act 1968
  • Library Act 1939
  • Library Regulation 2018
  • State Records Act 1998

Related and/or most relevant State Library and government policies

  • Australian ILRS Code
  • Outgoing Loans Policy
  • Staff Loans Policy


Interlibrary loan - a service where one library obtains an item for a library member by borrowing from another library.

Document delivery - a service where one library obtains a copy of part of a work for a library member by requesting it from another library.

Bulk loans – a selection of multicultural and English as a second language (ESL) material lent to NSW public libraries.

Long term loan – a selection of English language large print and talking books made available to NSW public libraries for an extended period of time.