Patron-Initiated InterLibrary Loans


Approximately 50% of BC Public Libraries, and some Post-Secondary Libraries, already offer their patrons the ability to search and submit requests through Patron-Initiated InterLibrary Loans. With nearly 40% of all submitted requests rejected by at least one Lender due to unavailable status, for example Checked Out, Libraries can combine Live Shelf Status Checks with Patron Requesting to request and receive items faster and allow ILL Staff to focus on requests for items that are actually available.

Patron-initiated requesting
already activated at your library?
Patron-initiated requesting not yet activated at your library?
Option 1: Would you like to customise the guest/patron forms yourself? Follow the one (1) step below: Option 1: Would you like to customise your forms and activate patron-initiated requesting yourself? Follow the three (3) steps below.
Option 2: Would you like the OLOL Administrative Centre to customise your Guest/Patron forms for you? Complete both the Loan and Copy templates below and return them to or Fax 778.782.3023. Option 2: Would you like the OLOL Administrative Centre to customise your Guest/Patron forms for you? Complete both the Loan and Copy templates below and return them to or Fax 778.782.3023.
Have additional questions or would like some assistance?  Check-out the information/guides below or contact us directly for assistance.


Additional Information/Guides:

  • Q&A about Patron-Initiated Interlibrary Loans
  • Temporary Closure of Patron Initiated Interlibrary Loan Requesting [PDF] – Closing your library for holidays or another reason such as renovations? Set-up a holiday list to allow your library to be skipped as a lender. Includes turning off patron-initiated ILL requests during closures. Problems with your holiday list? Please contact us to report any bugs or issues.
  • Request and Renewal LimitsContact us for information on activating request limits using SIP/NCIP to connect to your ILS patron data. Request limits are available within OutLook OnLine to limit the overall number or concurrent number of ILL requests per patron. This module isn’t currently activated and should be implemented along with SIP/NCIP.
  • Patron Privacy – All data is stored on Canadian servers and submitted via encrypted web forms. We also recommend activating a privacy disclaimer notice as outlined in Step 2(d) of the PDF guide if you collect personal information. Don't forget to consult with your privacy department before activating PI-ILLs and collecting personal data!
  • Live Shelf Status – Want to activate Live Shelf Status? Please contact us for assistance.
  • Configuring Search Targets Display [PDF] - Some libraries expand the available search targets to include other library catalogues, such as SFU, UBC & UVic, however this is a local library decision as these ISO Partner libraries charge for loans. Selection of additional search resources (Z39.50 search of library catalogues) is done in Staff Menu > Pac Admin > Select Resources on the left-hand side.

Common Questions & Answers about Patron-Initiated Interlibrary Loans:

Q: What is Patron-Initiated InterLibrary Loan (Mediated Requesting) in OutLook OnLine?
A: Patron requesting can be activated in OutLook OnLine to offer your patrons and/or guests the ability to search and submit their own requests.  These requests are then mediated (approved) by InterLibrary Loan Staff via the Awaiting Approval section in OutLook OnLine before they are forwarded on to Lenders.

Q: What is Live Shelf Status?
A: Live shelf status is a check of the circulation Availability (eg. In Library, On Hold, Checked Out) of an item at the time a Request is submitted to a Lender. OutLook OnLine connects directly to the Lender library's Z39.50 server for information about the Holdings (Location & Status) of that item; including an up-to-date check of their record details to confirm that the library still owns that exact item.  Requests for unavailable items automatically skip the Lenders that can’t fill the request.

Q: What is Direct Patron Requesting (Unmediated Requesting) in OutLook OnLine?
A: Customizable request forms for Patrons/Guests and Live Shelf Status Checks allow libraries to implement Direct Patron Requesting - where the patron’s request is forwarded via Automatic Approval (unmediated) straight on to Lenders without first being checked by ILL Staff in Awaiting Approval. Exceptions can be added, such as requests with Notes can always be sent to Awaiting Approval for mediation by ILL Staff.

Q: What is NCIP or SIP/SIP2 in OutLook OnLine?
A: NCIP or SIP/SIP2 faciliates communication between the OutLook OnLine (SHAREit) software and your ILS patron data. Implementing NCIP should allow OLOL to implement a variety of features including request limits, and deflection of request based on fines or account details. Unmediated Direct Patron Requesting (DPR) isn't recommended until NCIP is implemented for patron verification.

Q: Can I customize my Patron request forms to simplify them for easy requesting?
A: Since the software update on December 16th, 2015, all forms including Admin, Staff and Patron/Guest forms can be customized separately for each user group.

Q: What do I have to do to make my PI-ILLs privacy compliant within British Columbia?
A: To collect complete identifier information (e.g. First & Last Names ; Barcodes ; Emails) within an online Interlibrary Loan form, British Columbia requires that you include a Privacy Disclaimer Notice on your forms informing patrons that if they submit requests they are consenting to their Name and patron details being collected for ILL purposes.

  • You must include in your privacy disclaimer notice: (a) The purpose for collecting the personal information (eg. Interlibrary Loan), (b) the legal authority for collecting it (ie. the Library Act and FOIPPA), and a person that can be contacted at your Library/Institution for more information including the person’s Title, business address and phone number.
  • Unfortunately the character size (currently 300 characters but we’ve requested an increase) of the notice fields doesn’t allow for most contact information so we recommend providing a link/URL to a privacy page/section on your website that provides the contact information of your FOI/Privacy Officer and your privacy policy.
  • British Columbia also requires that the data is stored on our Canadian servers and the web forms are HTTPS encrypted.
  • Example Privacy Notice (ILLs within BC only):
    Personal info is collected for Interlibrary Loan use only [by authority of the Library Act and Sec. 26 Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act] and may be shared with another library in BC. Questions? Contact the FOI/Privacy Officer: [add your URL here]

Q: Why use Patron-Initiated ILL or Direct Patron Requesting?
A: Allowing the patron to place requests themselves within OutLook OnLine means less work for library staff and faster loans for patrons. Direct Patron Requesting combined with live shelf status checks streamlines the process even further – directly sending requests from patrons on to Lenders with the item available.


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