Resource Sharing

BLC was founded upon a shared commitment to promote cooperation in making resources more readily available. Today, BLC remains committed to facilitating high-quality and cost-effective sharing of print and digital content.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)


BLC supports a robust community of resource sharing professionals via two groups: the Resource Sharing Community of Interest (COI) and the Heads of Resource Sharing (HRS) Committee.

The Resource Sharing COI provides a platform for ILL practitioners to collaborate, network, and learn amongst BLC members to provide quality, cost-effective, and efficient resource sharing services. The Heads of Resource Sharing provides oversight of the interlibrary loan service and makes recommendations to the BLC Board of Directors to enhance resource sharing services among the member libraries.

BLC utilizes Ex Libris RapidILL/R/o as our primary infrastructure for reciprocal borrowing and lending of physical and electronic resources. A database of holdings across the member libraries is regularly maintained and updated as part of the interlibrary loan service. Member institutions exchange materials using a combination of Article Exchange, ISO 18626, the Massachusetts state-wide delivery system, Odyssey, RapidX, and UPS Campus Ship. 

Policies & Best Practices

BLC members must adhere to BLC's Interlibrary Loan Agreement and Resource Sharing Best Practices to maximize access to and delivery of materials across the member instititutions.

Additionally, BLC members agree to follow our Consortial Delivery Service policies to ensure timely and efficient shipment of materials between institutions.

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E-Book ILL

Lending e-books through interlibrary loan is an evolving practice with multiple approaches for sharing e-resources. The BLC’s E-Book Sharing Working Group has developed a set of E-Book ILL Roadmaps to outline these different approaches and promote broader adoption of the practice. 

BLC Consortial CDL Report

Controlled Digital Lending

BLC is an active champion of Controlled Digital Lending for interlibrary loan, a practice that enables libraries to lend legally acquired materials in a digital format under controlled conditions. CDL replicates the rights afforded to libraries for interlibrary loan, a foundational library practice, long empowered by copyright law and protected by Congress. 

Access and Borrowing BLC

Access and Borrowing

View visitor access and borrowing privilege policies at BLC member institutions and learn about BLC's Consortium Card program, which allows direct borrowing privileges at BLC member institutions to scholars within the BLC. 

Resource Sharing Resources

E-Book ILL Roadmaps

E-Book ILL Roadmaps

Some features of the roadmaps include:

  • A comparison of varying approaches to e-book ILL, including the distinction between the practice and controlled digital lending (CDL)
  • An overview of e-book ILL in the broader resource sharing landscape
  • Borrowing and lending roadmaps, which outline step-by-step considerations for implementing the practice at your library
  • An overview of the work to be undertaken for e-book ILL to be a more sustainable and adoptable practice