Figuring out the correct delivery method for SEAL can be a challenge. Delivery methods differ based on both your library, and the library you are sending materials to.
Mid-Hudson Libraries and RCLS libraries are able to send materials back and forth to one another using their couriers, which meet regularly to exchange items. RCLS and MHLS have internal documentation on SEAL for member libraries, which includes more information on using the couriers to ship items to the other system.
Several libraries using SEAL are participants in the Empire Library Delivery program. If you participate, you should check to see if the library you are lending to / borrowing from is a participant, as well. You can find participants in the ELD roster here. If the other library is a member, mail the SEAL item using ELD.
All other deliveries should be made using typical methods such as UPS or USPS.
There are a few ways you can increase the likelihood that you will receive an item from a library.
The first of these is to pay close attention to the type of item you are requesting. For example, many libraries will not be able to loan brand new books. Often there is a period of time where these books are only available to their patrons, ensuring they have the first opportunity to access them. E-books, special collections materials, reference items, and articles from e-journals are also generally not available to be loaned in SEAL.
It is also important to note the availability of an item. On the request page for titles, each library usually lists the availability of an item. Choose items that have a dash (-), or say available, on shelf, and checked in. If the item says something like: on hold, checked out, lost, on search, or has a date listed, it will not be available. It might be a good idea to double-check the status of an item in a library's catalog before placing a request. This can give you additional information on the availability of the item.
When requesting periodical articles from SEAL, there is a drop-down menu to indicate copyright status. CCG refers to the Compliance CONTU Guidelines, which were made to prevent ILL being used as a substitute for periodical subscriptions. You choose CCG if: the article you are requesting is less than five years old, and if it is the fifth or less request you’ve made from that particular journal in the last five years.
Choosing CCL indicates the article is protected by Copyright Law. You choose CCL if an item is: older than five years old, your library owns the journal, or it is the sixth or greater request you’ve made from a journal in the past five years. If it is the sixth or greater request, you will need to pay a copyright fee to the Copyright Clearance Center for use.
You can request a renewal directly in SEAL. First click on My account on the SEAL homepage. Choose the option SEE ALL REQUESTS PLACED BY YOUR LIBRARY. Your requests will display chronologically. You can scroll to find your specific request or search in the ILL# bar using the number that was assigned to your request. Click the option Request a Renew. Note: this option will only appear once you have updated an item’s status to received.
Clicking Request a Renew will generate an email to the lending library asking them if you can have a renewal. If they agree, an email will be sent to you with the updated due date.
There are a few possibilities for why you didn’t receive an item requested through SEAL. It is possible the lending library updated the status to “filled” but forgot to send the item. It is also possible that it was lost during the shipping process, or taking an abnormally long time to be delivered. Contact the lending library or Southeastern if you do not receive the material in a reasonable amount of time. You can find the contact information for SEAL users in the directory. They can provide more information about whether an item was sent, and the method used to do so.
In accordance with our regional interlibrary loan procedures, the borrowing library is responsible for replacing an item that was lost in shipping. While rare, this is a possibility.
If the lending library discovers the item was shipped and received by your library, check to make sure the item was not misplaced. In some cases, SEAL books have accidentally been shelved along with the borrowing library’s own materials.
Over the summer, status update options were added to SEAL. These updates can be accessed in your borrowing and lending request histories under the column that says "action". For borrowers, these options include: canceling requests, receiving items, requesting a renewal, and returning items. On the lender side, you can fill requests, edit the due dates, approve renewals, and check an item in. Other than indicating whether or not you can fill a request, status updates are not mandatory. They are an additional and optional way to track ILL items in SEAL.
Some of these status updates are dependent on others. For example, once a lender has filled a request, then the received option will appear on the borrower side. After the borrower receives the item, they will be able to request renewals and return the item. The check in option for lenders will appear once a borrower has hit the returned option, or automatically after thirty days. For more information, see our Status Updates Overview.