Letter addressing Lost Items

July 2, 2013


Dear Member Libraries of the Illinois Heartland Library System,

In the last few years we all have made adjustments and compromises in order to come together to form a new library system fully committed to resource sharing and able to sustain and support the core services of delivery, automation, and Talking Books.  Each legacy library system had a wealth of traditions to choose from so that, going forward, we are able to select the best on which to build a strong foundation.

Some legacy library systems had a practice of reimbursing libraries when materials requested via interlibrary loan were lost in transit.  Going live on Polaris formally marked our transition to all facets of the IHLS Resource Sharing Policy.  The policy has a singular approach for assessing responsibility for interlibrary loan materials lost in transit.  The Interlibrary Loan Policy section states under Responsibilities of the Requesting Member Library:

The safety of materials requested through interlibrary loan is the responsibility of the requesting library from the time the material leaves the supplying library until it is returned to the supplying library, unless loss or damage is determined to be the responsibility of the transporting agency. The requesting library is responsible for handling the material to ensure its return in good condition. If damage or loss occurs, the requesting library must meet all costs of repairs or replacement, in accordance with the preferences of the supplying library.

It further lays out the Responsibilities of the Regional Library System:

Investigate documented claims for items suspected to have been lost or damaged in transit. The system will pay for items for which it is deemed responsible.

Effective July 1, 2013, IHLS must adhere to the above-mentioned portions of the policy.  If you have outstanding requests for payment for materials that were lost prior to June 30th, kindly resolve the matter if possible with the requesting library.  If you are unable to resolve the situation we will honor the previous practice of reimbursement for those items.

I appreciate all of our efforts to make IHLS a leader in cooperative resource sharing.



Leslie M. Bednar

Executive Director