The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) is privileged to house a collection of rare and unique materials. The B&ECPL Board of Trustees is responsible for the preservation of these treasures and for sharing them with the community under conditions that do not subject them to potential loss or damage. Authority for all decisions regarding the management, development or disposition of the collection resides with the Board of Trustees or its designee.
The Board's objectives in developing this policy are to:
- Encourage and facilitate inter-institutional loan from special collections for the purposes of research or exhibition;
- Affirm curatorial responsibility in decisions regarding the loan of special collections;
- Specify the responsibilities of lending and borrowing institutions;
- Ensure the safety and security of items loaned, and
- Standardize procedures for the loan of materials.
These principles are intended for use by libraries, museums, archives, historical agencies, cultural repositories and other organizations in order to facilitate the inter-institutional loan for approved exhibition or research purposes of special collections, including books, manuscripts, archival and pictorial material.
Basic assumptions underlying these principles are:
- Inter-institutional loan from special collections is encouraged but must be conducted in a manner that ensures responsible care and effectively safeguards materials from loss or damage.
- B&ECPL may refuse to lend materials of exceptional rarity or monetary value, items in fragile condition or materials for which size or format creates increased potential for shipping damage or possible loss (e.g., folios, maps, unbound manuscripts). Loans of these materials might be possible with the provision and assurances of supplemental security measures, insurance certificates or other relevant measures.
- Private citizens who contact B&ECPL directly regarding loan of rare or unique materials should be referred to their own institution to initiate an interlibrary loan request.
- The decision to lend materials should involve the individual exercising curatorial responsibility for those materials. Such decisions should reflect an item-by-item, series-by-series, or collection-by-collection consideration, whichever is appropriate, rather than broad categorical responses.
- The loan of materials should rest on well-defined inter-institutional commitments. Personal familiarity and/or direct communications with curatorial staff at other institutions may facilitate the lending process.
- A borrowing institution must meet specific criteria described in this document in order to provide appropriate conditions for security, housing and use of rare and unique materials. (See II. below)
- Adequate notice as determined by B&ECPL must be provided for any request to be considered.
- Adequate assurances (e.g., insurance certificates, etc.) must be provided before any request is granted.
II. Responsibilities of Borrowing Institutions
The borrowing institution must:
- Provide a secure space under continuous supervision to ensure the safety of the materials during use/exhibition.
- Have a special collections program, including staff with responsibility for and trained in the care and handling of special collections.
- Provide secure storage for borrowed items during the loan period.
- Provide storage under environmental conditions that meet accepted standards for housing special collections.
- Guarantee that no reproductions will be made without the explicit permission of the B&ECPL.
- Give full credit to the B&ECPL in all interpretive materials and publicity concerning the exhibition.
Adopted July 21, 2005
Amended May 21, 2009, per Res. 2009-22