Material Replacement

Materials Replacement Fund Guidelines

Imagine your library borrows an item on interlibrary loan (ILL) from another Kansas library. After your client returns it, you package the item carefully and ship it back to the lending library. But it never arrives. What happens then? In Kansas, we have a program to assist you in cases like this. It is the Materials Replacement Fund, which has been in operation since 1984. The MRF responds to the question would-be ILL participants often ask: “What happens if we lend an item through interlibrary loan and it’s never returned?” By protecting libraries from losses, the Materials Replacement Fund encourages participation in resource sharing activities such as ILL. The Materials Replacement Fund is administered by the Southeast Kansas Library System and funded through a grant from the State Library of Kansas.

How does the MRF work?

If a Kansas library lends an item through ILL to another Kansas library, and if that item is lost or not returned, the Materials Replacement Fund (MRF) will reimburse the lending library for the actual cost of replacing the lost item. To request reimbursement for a lost item, submit an MRF Form to the address listed on the form. Feel free to photocopy the form as needed. **There is a minimum claim of $5.00. Bulk loans such as rotation books, are not covered by MRF.

Effective January 1, 2015 there will be a limit of eight claims per calendar year which a library may submit for reimbursement from the Materials Replacement Fund. The limit will be based on the libraries which submit the request that is, the borrowing libraries. Libraries which think they may exceed this limit in a year will want to consider which lost items are worth submitting a claim for, as opposed to reimbursing the borrowing library themselves.

How to use the MRF

Interlibrary loan codes stipulate that borrowing libraries are responsible for the safety of ILL items. So borrowing libraries are responsible for submitting MRF claims. If an item you borrow via ILL from another Kansas library is overdue, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Contact the lending library to let them know you’re trying to retrieve the lost item. Be sure to keep the lending library informed throughout the process. As you try to recover the missing item, follow the steps outlined on the claims form. Give it your best shot. Most of the time, these steps will work.
  2. Use your library’s policy to determine when the item is considered lost. If your efforts to retrieve the item are unsuccessful and you have written off the item as lost, submit the claim form. Please wait at least two months beyond the due date before filing a claim, but claims must be filed within one year of the due date.
  3. Since the MRF reimburses the replacement cost, some verification (such as an invoice from the lender, a printout from, or other evidence of the item’s replacement cost) must be submitted along with the completed form.
  4. If the item was returned by Kansas Library Express, contact Caroline Handwork at If the material was sent or returned via a delivery method with a tracking mechanism (such as UPS, FedEx, or the COKAMO courier), please submit a tracking request and apply for reimbursement through that service before turning to the MRF.

Remember, before submitting a claim, do your best to get the item back. And to sustain your library’s good standing as a responsible ILL participant, keep the lender informed throughout the process.

Please follow this link to printable form.

Mail to: Materials Replacement Fund                                                                                                                                                                              

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