Frequently Asked Questions
Active participation in ILL
- As of June, over 100 libraries are active, including Toronto, Ottawa, London, Oakville, Mississauga, Vaughan, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, Whitby, Barrie, Simcoe County, Chatham-Kent, and all northern ILL libraries
- Remaining VDX libraries have asked for VDX suspensions, returning mid-June to mid-July
- Don’t worry about determining who is active. When you place a request (either Authorized or To Be Authorized), the background processor will automatically skip those locations that are under suspension
- You can review the list of Rota Locations in any Not Supplied request to see who was under suspension and may be able to supply later
Sending ILL by Canada Post
- All items must be shipped at Library Book Rate, via Canada Post. Library Book Rate labels are created using the Library Materials Shipping Tool (LMST)
- Lender must pay. The Shipping Tool is designed that way for ALL of Canada
- Fill in the appropriate fields in the tool, including weight and dimensions
- Print label and affix to parcel; if using stamps apply required postage
- Drop off at a post office or in a street letter box
Cloth bags require a costlier manual sort than other containers, and we recommend avoiding these if possible. Such a trend could provide an argument for Canada Post to raise rates even more than the standard 5%.
A “P” stamp reflects current domestic postal rates. If you buy your “P” stamps in a pack, they are currently worth 90 cents each. You can combine it with other stamps to make up the correct postage amount for a parcel, but you must count it as 90 cents as that is what was paid for it.
The Canada Post Library Materials Rate Manual does not specify number of items per parcel. It says: “Each shipment must contain only one return label and the label must be used for the return of the original shipment “. Mailing multiple books per parcel (average is 2-3 items) should be fine providing you don’t exceed the maximum weight (5kg) and dimensions.
Keep in mind when mailing more than one item in a package, that the borrowing library may need to return some items later and will have to hold on to all items in that shipment in order to use the ONE Return Label provided.
You can let the borrowing library know that you plan to send multiple items with one shipping label by using the Send Public Note action on the VDX request.
There is no assurance that Canada Post will maintain the current book rate. In January 2019, Canada Post increased the book rate by approximately 5%. Libraries, FOPL and OLA can lobby to maintain an affordable book rate.
Postage Costs & Rebates
SOLS provides partial rebates to public libraries for delivery of interlibrary loan material through Canada Post. The yearly rebate rate is dependent on the total volume of items shipped across the system. Payments are made in January and are based on the previous year’s volume. The reimbursement rate in 2019 was $2.00 per VDX loan.
No – The Library Materials Shipping tool is based on lender paying, with return postage included. This approach is used by all Canadian libraries (public, academic, etc.) using this tool.
The Act is silent on the issue of one library charging another to borrow materials on interlibrary loan. Please see the Ministry’s Q & A on the Public Library Act at http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/libraries/act_q_a.shtml.
But in our experience, when libraries charge other libraries for loans, their interlibrary loan service is affected, as a) libraries avoid borrowing from them b) libraries will refuse to loan to them or c) libraries will charge them for loans as well. It will also take a lot of staff time and adminstrative effort to bill libraries.
No. The Public Libraries Act precludes libraries from charging their users for materials borrowed on interlibrary loan. Therefore, libraries are not permitted to pass any interlibrary loan fee on to their users, including the passing on of any administrative interlibrary loan fee that the lending library has charged them.
Managing ILL Requests & Statistics
VDX can do Format deflection based on the Item Formats available in VDX, but date of publication cannot be configured. Please contact HelpDesk to discuss your options and set up deflection.
At present, VDX has a system-wide limit of 25 requests per patron per day, all locations, regardless if issued by patrons using Zportal or Staff using VDX and validating against a user barcode. Any ‘excess over 25’ would become Idle/Automediated:Authmanual in the WQ with a log message indicating that a limit was exceeded.
Here are some options that you should consider if you want to limit borrows and lends:
- Remain Suspended - If your location is not ready to resume any ILL activity, we can set a new suspension for your location (for both borrowing and lending) or ask OCLC to change your ILL status.
- Develop Internal Policies for managing ILLO borrows and loans - Libraries should develop their own policies regarding the number of borrowing and lending requests you can handle per day, making sure to apply a “Non-supply” to any requests from other libraries that you cannot fulfil.
Please contact HelpDesk for all changes to patron-initiated requests. Keeping in mind the system-wide limit of 25 requests per patron, here are a few options for changing or disabling patron-initiated access:
- Change Patron Category to “Manual Authorized” - If you choose to continue with Patron-Initiated ILL but would like more control, we can ask OCLC to do a bulk category change of Zportal patron records from “Auto-Authorized” to “Manual-Authorized” so that requests will not automatically become pending with a lender. They will remain in your “Work Queue” (with a Rota already built) as “Idle/Auth Manual”, so that staff can review and submit them (or answer unfilled with a “Send User Alert” note to patron) as desired.
- Request more specific patron limits - If you choose to continue with Patron-Initiated ILL, but would like more control on the number of items a patron may request, we can make changes, but they will apply to all of your Zportal patrons and will over-ride the system-wide background default limit of 25 requests per patron per day. The custom limit count does not affect Staff using VDX or Staff using Zportal accounts to submit on behalf of patrons they are serving at non centralized location. Some options here: A new custom limit for all patrons: e.g. 5 total in one day for their patrons using Zportal; a specific limit of books over a longer period of time: e.g. 10 in 7 days; 5 in 1 day; 20 per week; 10 in 7 days; 10 in 1 day; 10 successful at a time; 10 per week; 25 at a time.
- Disable Zportal - If you feel that you cannot support Patron-Initiated ILL at this time, we can ask OCLC to remove the Authentication Service for your location from the Zportal dropdown list, preventing your patrons from logging in
You can change the current default for any request you are shipping out. The procedure is described in the VDX training manual Chapter 16, pg. 6
We won’t be making any system-wide changes affecting all libraries until we have consulted with all libraries using VDX.
This is not possible at this time.
SOLS does not require this information.
These are policy decisions that you must think about as a library and do what works best for you and you staff. As per ILLO policy, a participating library is responsible for staffing ILL, but you decide how many loans your staff can handle via postal delivery, and how much postage money you can set aside to pay for postal costs, keeping in mind how the postage rebate works. Just be sure to apply a “Non-supply” to any requests from other libraries that you cannot fulfil.
Libraries have always been able to place requests for microfilm to the Archives of Ontario via VDX. Libraries can use the LMST to create mailing labels for returning items to the Archives.