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 routing slips available on their sites, which they can use 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. MHLS and RCLS are both ELD members. Public library members should send items to other ELD libraries using their courier with a system routing slip. All other ELD libraries should package and send items according to regular ELD guidelines. However, it is important to note that if you are sending a SEAL item to a public library, you must address it to the system and not the individual library. The system will distribute the items accordingly.
All other deliveries should be made using typical methods such as UPS or USPS. More information is available on the Delivery page.
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. These books will often have "new" within their call number. 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 in the ILL form drop-down menu. Choose to request from libraries whose item has a dash (-), or a status such as 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 can 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.
There are a few different reasons why you might get this message. The SEAL catalog was designed to serve two distinct purposes. It acts as a regional discovery tool for Southeastern NY, including holdings from over 400 libraries. It also serves as the catalog for regional ILL. Currently, about 165 libraries in the region are active SEAL participants. If a library is not a SEAL participant, its holdings won’t show up in the drop-down menu. As a result, sometimes items can appear to be available at the title screen, even though there are actually no participating SEAL libraries with that item.
Another reason this message might appear is because of item filtering. Libraries can choose to turn on / off lending for certain types of materials. This occurs most often with reference books, electronic resources, and special collections materials. Many libraries cannot lend electronic materials due to licensing restrictions. Some also choose not to lend AV, special collections, or reference materials due to their fragility or relative irreplaceability. The automated filtering prevents libraries from receiving requests they are unable to fill.
This message can also occur if a participating library has lending turned off. SEAL has an option allowing libraries to temporarily suspend their library, which automatically removes their items from the drop-down menu.
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 calendar year.
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 calendar year. 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.
You can also request a renewal by emailing the lending library directly, using their contact information from the SEAL directory. Only renew an item for your patron once you have received confirmation from the lending library.
Borrowing libraries in SEAL are responsible for all lost and damaged items. The ILL code states, “the requesting library’s responsibility for this loss is based on the concept that if the request had not been made, the material would not have left the supplier’s shelf, and thus would not have been put at risk” (4.9). If an item is lost or damaged, the borrowing library should first contact the lender and alert them to the situation.
Lenders have the option to request repayment for a lost / damaged books. This, however, is not mandatory; the code states that although “…the requesting library is required to pay if billed for a lost or damaged item, the supplying library is not necessarily required to charge for a lost item” (4.10). The code goes on to note that borrowing and lending libraries may need to work together to resolve the issue. If a book got lost in delivery, for example, one of the libraries may need to contact the delivery vendor for more information.
Lending libraries can choose their preferred method of repayment (4.10). This can include invoicing for repair costs, or for the market value of an item. Lending libraries can also decide whether they will accept a replacement copy. Lending libraries should send final bills for replacement / damages no later than one year after the item’s initial due date (5.4). Borrowing libraries should pay invoices no later than six months from the initial billing date (4.10). Borrowing libraries can charge their patron for the cost of the lost / missing item as they typically would. However, even if the patron does not pay, the library is still responsible for the item.
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 code and 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.
There are no set lending periods for items sent through SEAL. In SEAL, as with other ILL systems, due dates are up to the discretion of the lending library. However, it is crucial to incorporate extra time into an ILL lending period as the delivery of items can often take up to a week or longer. The patron also needs time to be contacted and pick up the item at their library. A recommended minimum lending period for books is 5 weeks. As per our regional code, due dates are defined as the days items should be checked in at the borrowing library for return to the lender. Lender libraries should take delivery time into consideration before administering late notices. If a patron needs more time with an item, borrowing libraries can request renewals directly within SEAL, or by contacting the lending library.