The “National Maximum Charge” that limited Resource Libraries to charging $11 was removed as a requirement for Resource Libraries in the NN/LM contracts for 2011-2016. The change was effective May 1, 2011. As needed, Resource Libraries may raise ILL fees to recover costs. Primary Access Libraries and Other libraries were already able to charge fees necessary for cost recovery. As always, all charges and provided services must comply with copyright law.
NLM removed the $11 limit because multiple requests were received from Resource Libraries, who stated they were unable to recover their costs at $11 per article. Additionally, Resource Libraries were permitted to charge above the $11 limit via surcharges, which caused confusion among network members in regards to the expected charge. The removal of the National Maximum permits all libraries in the Network to charge cost recovery based fees.
As a point of reference on lending, during the previous contract period of May 2006-May 2011, Primary Access Libraries filled nearly 43% of the DOCLINE requests. Resource Libraries filled just over 31% of the requests. “Other” libraries lent just over 22% of requests.
We recommend that libraries changing their fees provide adequate notice to their regular borrowers, and through regional announcement lists. Borrowers may wish to review their Routing Tables. Borrowers unable to find a lender can route requests to NLM, whose base ILL fee remains unchanged at $9.