- Research & Course Help
The practice of interlibrary loan opens the world of available knowledge to everyone everywhere. If your local library does not have the work you need, it can request the work or a copy of the work, like an article, from a library that does. Section 108 specifically authorizes interlibrary as follows:
"That nothing in this clause prevents a library or archives from participating in interlibrary arrangements that do not have, as their purpose or effect, that the library or archives receiving such copies or phonorecords for distribution does so in such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of such work".
The tipping point comes when the requesting library finds that it is requesting so frequently from the same journal that it amounts to substituting for a subscription. It is the requesting library's responsibility to keep track of how many times it is retrieving items from the same source. Libraries and copyright holders have long agreed and accepted what is known as the "Rule of Five" or the CONTU Guidelines. It only applies to materials less than five years old. Up to five articles may be copied from a single periodical in one calendar year. After that, libraries are expected to pay a permission fee.