ArticleReach Policies

1. Article requesting service

The article requesting service expands MeLCat resource sharing to articles from periodicals and newspapers. Authorized patrons of participating MeLCat libraries may request copies of articles from supplying libraries. This service is intended to be a supplement to, not a replacement for, local libraries’ interlibrary loan systems.

Article requesting is a patron-initiated service that allows patrons to search, make requests, review status and cancel requests prior to email delivery, as they do for books; however, mediation by library staff may be needed to facilitate this service.

1.1 Patron responsibilities

Borrowing libraries authorize their patrons to request articles according to their local policies. Patrons may be responsible for paying copyright fees assessed to their home libraries for articles they request, according to their home libraries’ local policies.

1.2 Eligible libraries

Any MeLCat library may participate in the article requesting service. Participation is optional.

Libraries that choose to participate agree to:

  1. Both lend and borrow articles;
  2. Be responsible for compliance with the terms of their electronic resource licenses;
  3. Enable article requesting for their patrons and monitor and ensure copyright compliance for requests by their patrons;
  4. Provide electronic copies of articles free of charge to borrowing libraries;
  5. Add holdings information for their periodicals to MeLCat to enable requesting, according to the Catalog Policies for serials records and holdings in MeLCat. Libraries unable to provide periodical holdings to MeLCat may request an exception to allow them to participate prior to their holdings being added.

1.3 Participating library responsibilities

Libraries participating in article requesting will be responsible for:

  1. Responding to article requests within two weekdays.

1.4 Number of allowable requests per month

How many requests patrons can make is determined by patron type:

200 MeL Public Library Adult 30 per month
201 MeL Public Library Juvenile 30 per month
202 MeL Corporation/Institution 30 per month
203 MeL Public Library Staff Unlimited
204 MeL Public Library Patron 30 per month
210 MeL Test Patron Unlimited
211 MeL Test Patron Unlimited
212 MeL Undergraduate Student 50 per month
213 MeL Graduate Student 100 per month
214 MeL Academic Faculty/Staff Unlimited
215 MeL Community User/Non-student 30 per month
216 MeL Academic Alumni 30 per month
223 MeL Elementary Student 30 per month
224 MeL Middle School Student 30 per month
225 MeL High School Student 30 per month
226 MeL School Staff Unlimited
227 MeL K-12 student (unspecified) 30 per month
232 MeL Special Library Patron 30 per month
233 MeL Special Library Staff Unlimited
234 MeL Special Library Other 30 per month
240 MeL No Privileges N/A


1.5 Copyright compliance

MeLCat libraries will follow the CONTU Guidelines new-window-icon.png for copyright compliance. Borrowing libraries will pay royalties, obtain permission, or cancel requests when these three conditions pertain:

A notice concerning copyright restrictions will be included on the MeLCat article request form as required by copyright law.

1.6 Patron fees

Borrowing libraries may charge their patrons fees to cover copyright compliance for the articles they request, according to local library policies.

1.7 Circulation policies

MeLCat libraries agree to abide by these circulation policies for article requesting:

  1. Methods of article requesting - MeLCat article requests can be made from a MeLCat bibliographic record or from an OpenURL link to the article request form in MeLCat from a citation database.
  2. Request balancing - will be done separately from returnables. The goals are to minimize net-lending by libraries and expedite article delivery to patrons.
  3. Auto-forwarding - MeLCat article requests will be automatically forwarded to the next potential supplying library if the request has not been filled in 3 days.
  4. Not wanted after date - when supplied by the patron, the request will cancel after this date if it has not been filled.
  5. Number of days patrons and staff can view their requests - 21 days.
  6. Number of days completed requests are viewable by staff at the patron’s home library - 21 days.
  7. Patrons’ requests will be forwarded to their home libraries for staff mediation when:
    • No ISSN is specified in the request from an OpenURL link;
    • There are no records in MeLCat that match the ISSN in the request;
    • There are no library holdings in MeLCat for the periodical or newspaper that match the ISSN in the request.

1.8 Periodicals holdings requirements

  1. To participate in the non-returnables lending service, a library's requestable cataloged periodicals must have holdings statements loaded into MeLCat.
  2. Libraries with Innovative Interfaces local systems should provide summary holdings in checkin records or 866 fields in MARC bibliographic records. If summary holdings data are in a different field, there is no guarantee that the data will load correctly.
  3. Libraries with local systems other than Innovative Interfaces, i.e., libraries that use the DCB server to add their holdings should export bibliographic records with summary holdings for loading.
  4. Un-automated libraries, or those whose local systems cannot export serials holdings, will use a Web-based interface to add their summary holdings.
  5. Participating libraries will maintain their periodical holdings in MeLCat according to a schedule determined in collaboration with MeLCat support staff.