Payment System for International Interlibrary Transactions

The IFLA Voucher Scheme makes it easy for you to pay for your international interlibrary (ILL) requests by using a voucher instead of money. While many libraries now use electronic payments for their interlibrary requests, there are still libraries and countries where this is difficult. IFLA’s vouchers enable all libraries to provide interlibrary requests to the benefit of their users.

How does the Scheme work?

The scheme is based on a re-useable plastic voucher, which represents a standard payment for one transaction.

Libraries can purchase a supply of vouchers from IFLA HQ for EUR 8 each (full voucher) or EUR 4 each (half voucher). The supplying library determines the number of vouchers needed for the loan and retains vouchers to be re-used for future ILL transactions.

Libraries that supply more items than they request can redeem excess vouchers by sending them to IFLA HQ. They will receive a refund of EUR 8 per full voucher or EUR 4 per half voucher. All redemptions will be paid in Euros. The vouchers have an unlimited validity and can be re-used any number of times. This applies to the old-style vouchers previously issued by the former IFLA Office for International Lending, as well as new vouchers.

Supplying libraries are encouraged to accept a standard “payment” of one voucher for supplying a loan or a photocopy of up to 15 pages. But they are also free to charge more (or less) if they wish to do so.

What are the benefits of the Scheme?

Apart from the initial purchase and final redemption of the vouchers, the scheme eliminates all financial payments when paying for international borrowing and document supply.

Benefits include:

  • No bank charges for either requesting or supplying library
  • No money lost in international exchange rates
  • The vouchers can be retained for future use
  • Libraries are encouraged to offer an effective ILL service in order to “earn” vouchers which they can use or redeem

Note: According to Dutch tax authorities, there may be VAT implications for libraries using this scheme. You are therefore advised to seek authoritative advice within your own country.