Koha How-To

Workflow for a Interlibrary Loan Process

Lending Materials to Other Libraries

For the best tracking of material, you can create a patron for each library you are lending to.

In addition, there are different categories that can be assigned per patron category, you can choose Organization which allows the creation of a patron with just a single name (such as Library name).

When creating a new library as a patron, it is a good idea to include contact information for this Library such as email address and phone number. This will be helpful if you need to track any outstanding items down.

To modify your patron category for ILL or create a new one, that is found in the administration module and then patron categories.

Above, is an ILL category with the description of Interlibrary Loan. I have also indicated that Overdue Notices are required and that the category is an Organization.

Here is a creation of a Library account that will be used to lend library materials to:

Item Type

Do the ILL items that you lend get a longer circulation period than your patrons?

If they do get a longer period - you may want to create an item type for Inter-Library Loan items.

To create a new item type or modify an existing one, that is found under the administration module and then Item types.

Some key areas that would be helpful to have chosen for an ILL Item Type:

- Hiding this item type from the OPAC.

-Adding a check-in message to alert staff that this is an ILL item.

-Replacement Price for this Item Type

Circulation and Fine Rule

After creating a new item type for ILL, the circulation and fine rule table would need to adjusted to include this patron category and the item type.

In this circulation and fine rule matrix, a library can clearly define what the lending rules ( for example how long, fines, renewals, holds, etc) are for the ILL material. To get to the circulation and fine rule table, go to Administration, then Circulation and Fine Rules.

Once you have created the library as an Organizational patron, created an item type, added a circulation rule- you can now check out the material and send it on its way.

Interlibrary Loan Borrowing

For the process of borrowing items from other libraries and lending them to your patrons:

In summary, a library will receive a request from a patron. The library will request the item from the outside library. When the item arrives, the library will create a record for this item using the ILL Framework**. Creating an ILL framework will be at the bottom of this blog post.

When the item has arrived from the lending library, this item can be cataloged. From the cataloging module, pick- a new record and choose the ILL Framework

In this brief record - enter all the required fields. These fields will be marked with a red asterisk. In the 942c you can enter the ILL item type that was created in part 1 of this blog which would let Koha know the circulation period for this item.

Then you will need to fill in the required fields (for your library) on the item record.

Here is where you would be adding your own barcode to the item or use the barcode already on the item.

Once the record and item are created, you can then check this item out to your patron.


When cataloging items specifically fast add cataloged items or ILL items, can have a separate framework which is beneficial and speedy. Frameworks can be customized to have only specific marc fields and item fields. In addition, within Frameworks, fields can have default values, which means less work to do when creating these quick items.

If the library is already using a Fast Add Framework, an easy way to create an ILL framework is to copy the Fast Add Framework and manipulate that. You can add fields to your ILL framework if your library needs more fields cataloged.

To copy the Fast Add Framework- go to Administration- Marc Framework.

Click Actions next to the Fast Add Framework and click Export.

Export to a CSV.

Above Marc Frameworks - there is a button that says “New Framework”.

Create a new Framework- give it a code “ILL” and a description.

Once that has been submitted- again choose Actions next to the new ILL framework and choose Import.

Choose the FA export from your computer and confirm you want to continue.

Once this framework has been imported, you can choose to edit the Framework to fit your library's needs.

For example, one change that can be made, in the Fast Add Framework, the default value for subfield 3 “Materials Specified” could be Fast Added Material” so the circulation desk would know what to do with it when it was returned. *So for an ILL item, you could make this subfield specific to this “Inter-Library Loan”.

Also, a default Item Type could be created in this ILL framework, for easy creation of the item.

Watch this helpful Monday Minute video about adding Default Values into Frameworks!