Research Loan Program


Guidelines for Referring Libraries | Guidelines for Supplying Libraries | Guidelines for Patrons | FAQs | RLP Participant List


Guidelines for Referring Libraries (PDF)

  1. Conduct reference interview to ascertain the research needs of the patron. Try to locate the material needed at the home library, another local library, or a public library system (co-)central library, before making a referral to a Research Loan Program library.
  2. Contact referring library before sending your patron to make sure the item requested is available for check-out and to be aware of their loan rules.
  3. Refer only patrons in good standing. Patrons who have a history of overdue, damaged, or lost books at their home library should not receive RLP privileges.
  4. Referrals should be as specific as possible and include at least one title and call number of a relevant item from the lending institution’s online catalog.
  5. The white RLP referral card must be used within one month. (Note: this is not the loan period.)
  6. The triplicate RLP form must be completed fully. The white copy goes to the supplying library via the patron; the yellow copy returns to LILRC; retain the pink copy for your records.
  7. Inform the patron that materials borrowed through the Research Loan Program are subject to the borrowing conditions at the lending institution. The patron is responsible for following the lending institution’s policies.
    • Loan period                 varies by institution, may not allow renewals
    • Fines                            generally larger than at public libraries
    • Fees for lost items       generally replacement cost, may include administrative or other fees
    • Immediate recall          items needed at home institution are subject to immediate recall
  8. RLP privileges will be revoked for patrons who do not respond promptly to recalls, who do not return materials on time, or who damage or lose borrowed materials.
  9. Explain to the patron that licensed online research databases will probably not be available to RLP patrons at RLP libraries because of licensing restrictions.
  10. The Research Loan Program is not intended to cover entire classes of students. A teacher seeking a group referral should be told to contact the director of the academic library to make the necessary arrangements.

Guidelines for Supplying Libraries (PDF)

  1. Instruct all staff on procedures for honoring RLP referrals. These are procedures decided by your institution.
  2. Pursue overdue materials promptly (within first month) and send LILRC a copy of all overdue notices sent to patron.
  3. If materials are not returned within six months, send LILRC an invoice for missing items.
    • LILRC will notify referring library of any patron delinquencies under the Research Loan Program.
    • After six months, LILRC will pay invoice of supplying library, and bill the home library.
    • Home library is expected to pay invoice promptly, while trying to collect from patron.

Guidelines for Patrons (PDF)

As a member of the Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC), your library has elected to participate in the Research Loan Program (RLP), which enables you to borrow materials directly from other participating libraries when necessary for your research. The librarian will explain the program to you and provide you with the necessary forms. The librarian will help you search the online catalogs of academic and other libraries to determine which library has the material you need.

Use of RLP is a privilege available to responsible library users, as determined by the home library. The white RLP referral card must be used within one month. When you are issued an RLP card, you are expected to comply with the rules of the library you are using; please become familiar with those policies.

Be sure to observe the date due and return materials promptly to the library from which you borrowed them. Each library has its own loan period. Some libraries send overdue notices, but these are only a courtesy. You are responsible for returning materials on time, and you are responsible for paying any fines you incur. Many academic libraries impose larger fines and replacement fees than do public libraries.

Occasionally, you may receive a recall notice. This means the library needs the material for another user. Be sure to return the item(s) promptly. You may find yourself responsible for paying heavy fines for noncompliance.

In most cases, you will be able to borrow circulating materials in all subject fields. Academic libraries require that you supply a sample author and title from their online catalog of the type of material you are seeking. Your librarian can help you find this information. Occasionally, public use of a library may be restricted; in those cases, only certain subject areas are available to RLP users. Ask your librarian to call first to determine if this is this case.

You are expected to pay any fines or fees you incur as a user of the library to which you are being referred. If your record is unsatisfactory, your RLP privileges will be withdrawn and your status at your home library will be jeopardized.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Research Loan Program?

The Research Loan Program (RLP) enables a library which belongs to the Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC) to refer a qualified library user to borrow books from another LILRC member library which also participates in RLP.

2. Why does a library participate in RLP?

Referring library

A library participates in RLP because it can provide an added service to its patrons. It can refer users to collections which have the materials needed to fulfill a particular research need. In some cases, this is more appropriate than interlibrary loan.

Supplying library

A library can participate in regional resource sharing with confidence, knowing that only responsible borrowers are issued RLP cards. LILRC registers RLP users and monitors use of the program to ensure return of overdue items. The referring library ultimately bears responsibility for the return of library materials.

3. How does RLP work?

When assisting a user, a staff member at a participating library determines that the user’s needs can best be met by borrowing materials from another participating library. In some cases, it is the library user who requests this service.

The RLP contact person or authorized representative determines that the borrower is in good standing, and completes the RLP three-part form and RLP card. The referring library must call the supplying library to assure that the needed materials are available.

4. What about overdue or lost books?

Libraries are expected to refer only patrons in good standing. Supplying libraries are expected to send the overdue notice to the LILRC office. LILRC notifies the library issuing the RLP card that materials are overdue and fines must be paid.

Referring libraries understand they are ultimately responsible for unpaid fines and fees incurred by their patrons.

Supplying libraries know that responsible patrons are referred, and that the home library is ultimately responsible for the return of the books or for any fines and fees incurred. Libraries should send any overdue notices to LILRC promptly.

5. Which libraries participate in RLP?

Libraries indicate on LILRC’s annual membership form if they wish to participate in RLP. Each participating library designates a contact person for the Research Loan Program. This person is responsible for seeing that all staff members comply with the program’s policies and procedures.

A list of participating libraries is available here. Avoid referring users to libraries which do not participate in the program.

This program is only for those LILRC member libraries which select this option. It is not open to libraries which are not members of LILRC.

6. For more information call the Clerical Assistant at LILRC, (631) 675-1570.

  • To enter your library in the Research Loan Program
  • To determine whether a library participates in RLP
  • To request more RLP forms and cards