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OCLC Support

Manage policies

Learn how to create and edit copy or loan policies, how to create deflection policies and find information about deflection policy formats.

Create and edit copy or loan policies 

Use the OCLC Policies Directory to explain your lending policies. For example, you can create a loan policy for libraries within your state or consortia for which you have a special reciprocal relationship. You may also list a copy policy for libraries outside your state with which you may not have any lending relationship. In that case, charges may apply and can be included.

Tip: If you are a reciprocal lender, enter Reciprocal Lender as the policy name so that other lenders can find this information easily.

When entering your policies, have the following information available:

  • The different groups to whom you lend. Include them in your policies. Only groups that have been profiled by OCLC will display.
  • The fees that you charge to libraries for your ILL services. These may include flat or per item/page/ exposure charges, taxes, shipping, service or rush fees. You may always indicate a zero charge in any policy. Enter 0.00 in the fee field if there is no fee.
  • The billing methods that you support. These may include IFM or “invoice with item” methods, for example. If you have more than one method, they are listed in order of preference, with the first being the most preferred.
  • The delivery methods that you support. These could include physical methods, such as USPS, UPS or FedEx, or electronic methods, such as email, FTP or OCLC Article Exchange.
  • Specific loan and renewal periods.

To add or edit a copy or loan policy:

  1. Click the Policies tab.
  2. Expand either the Copies or Loans accordion.
  3. Click Add or Edit. The workform appears.
  4. Type the Policy Name (required field).
  5. Service:
    1. Copies:
      • Copy Type. The type of copy the policy applies to. Note: Policies based on a single copy type are often easier to understand than those that apply to multiple copy types.
    2. Loans:
      • Loan Item Maximum. The maximum number of items loaned.
      • Renewal Maximum. The maximum number of times a loan can be renewed.
      • Renewal Period. The length of the renewal period.
      • Loan period. The length of the loan.
  6. Fees (required field):
    • Increment. The unit of measurement (page, exposure, item)
    • Minimum/maximum. The number of copies available per Fee. Note: To indicate a flat fee, fill in Fee, but leave Minimum and Maximum blank.
    • Currency. The monetary unit used.
    • Tax included. Indicates if tax is part of fee or not.
    • Tax type. Rate (per cent) or fee.
    • Tax. The amount of the tax.
    • Reciprocal Type. The kind of reciprocal agreement (fee vs. free), if any.
      • Example: A policy for copying the first 10 items at $2 and the next 10 at $8 would be recorded in two rows:
      • Increment: Item; min: 1; max: 10; fee: $2
      • Increment: Item; min: 11; max: 20; fee: $8
  7. Borrowers:
    • OCLC Group. The groups the policy applies to and any exceptions.
    • Library Categories. A description chosen by the library.
    • Locations. The locations the policy applies to and any exceptions.
  8. Items:

    • Collections. The collections the policy applies to and any exceptions.
    • Formats. The formats the policy applies to and any exceptions.
    • Restrictions. Any conditions that restrict the use of the item.
  9. Details:

    • Methods and their fees are listed in order of preference.
  10. Notes:
    • Additional notes about the policy.
  11. Click Save.

Create Deflection Policies

Deflection is applied to the lender string to ensure that an unfilled request does not remain in WorldShare Interlibrary Loan or Tipasa as Pending, waiting for potential lenders to manually deny the request.

Deflection is not the same process as filtering. Filtering is a process that chooses lenders based on holdings data and other information from the holdings record before the request is created (produced). It takes place before the lender string is built. The Policies Directory is not involved with this processing.

To create a Deflection policy:

  1. Navigate to the Policies tab from the OCLC Policies Directory.
  2. Click the Add button on the Deflections drop-down.
  3. Enter the following required fields:
    1. Policy Name
    2. Request type. Options include:
      • Copy
      • Loan
      • Copy or Loan
    3. Deflection type. Options include:
      • Enable Real Time Deflection: Choose this option to enable the deflection policy.
      • Enable Real Time Deflection - except when I am last in the lender string: Choose this option to enable the deflection policy except when the institution is the last lender in the lender string.
      • Disable Deflection: Choose this option to disable the deflection. Select one of the above options to enable the deflection at a later time.
  4. Optional. Under Fees section, enter the Borrower maximum cost.
  5. Optional. Under Borrowers section, select the OCLC Group or Custom Holding Group to include in the deflection.
  6. Optional. Under Items, select the Item features for the deflection. Options include:
    • Formats
    • E-License Terms
    • Material Age
  7. Optional. Enter Notes for the deflection.
  8. Click Save.

If the borrower returns to the request after it has been placed, the asterisk indicating the current lender will have moved to the next lender. The Request History will indicate the Reason for No:

  • Auto-Deflection: Format Type
  • Auto-Deflection: Profiled Group (covers profiled groups and Custom Holding Groups)
  • Auto Deflection: Maximum Cost
  • Auto Deflection: Age of Material
  • Auto Deflection: Multiple Reasons
  • Auto Deflection: Request Type

Deflection may be based on the request service type, local holdings, format type, OCLC profiled group membership, Custom Holding Group, maximum cost, E- license terms and material age in years. Exceptions can also be set, based on format type, OCLC profiled group membership, and Custom Holding Group. The default setting is for no deflection policies to be set.

If you have multiple deflections, requests are processed following the hierarchy for deflection listed below.

The hierarchy for deflection 

The order in which deflections are processed is as follows:

  1. Supplier status
  2. LHR 008/20-21
  3. On-order status (WMS Acquisitions)
  4. Deflection policies configured in Policies Directory in the following order:
    1. Service type
    2. Format
    3. Profiled Group
    4. ELicense terms
    5. Custom Holdings Group
    6. Max Cost
    7. Age of Material

How it works 

A simple scenario for deflection by format would be:

  1. The borrowing library creates a request choosing lenders that appear to be suppliers for the material.
  2. WorldShare Interlibrary Loan or Tipasa searches the first lender's policies in the Policies Directory to see if they will loan that format. For example, the format is "musical score" and the first lender has created a deflection policy to indicate that it does not loan musical scores.
  3. Instead of the lender getting the request as Pending, it skips that lender and automatically deflects to the next lender.
  4. The request moves through the string until it identifies a lender that might supply it.

Deflection exceptions 

If you select Format, OCLC Group (profiled group), or Custom Holding Group as deflection criteria, you cannot select those criteria as exceptions.

Example policy Deflection option(s) selected Exception criteria available
I do not loan e-serials. Format OCLC Group
I do not loan e-serials to profiled group XXXX. Format OCLC Group  
I do not loan to profiled group XXXX. OCLC Group Format
I charge $15. Borrower Maximum Cost Format

OCLC Group
I loan books only. Format 2 OCLC Group
I loan books only.   Format 3

OCLC Group
I only loan to all members of group XXXX.   Format

OCLC Group 4

Issues to note:

  • Filtering impacts the lender string that is created, i.e., a symbol can be excluded from the lender string based on the filter that is applied. Filtering is based on custom holdings paths/groups based on volume and year data in the local holdings record.
  • There are two ways to create this policy. Here all formats are selected for deflection except for “book.” This is a listing of all formats not loaned.
  • No deflection criteria are selected. Service type “loan” with no deflection criteria indicates that no formats are loaned. However, the exception format “book” indicates that only books are loaned.
  • The institution only loans material to a selected profiled group. Choosing the exception eliminates the selection of the (long list of) individual profiled groups

Deflection Includes/Excludes 

When creating deflection policies for your group, you can choose to block or not block certain groups or items. This feature allows your institution to be very specific about what groups and items a deflection policy pertains to, and those that it does not pertain to.

If you want to deflect a group or one or two items, use the Include feature. If you want to deflect everything except a group or one or two items, use the Exclude feature.


  • To deflect everything except books, use Exclude and click Book (instead of using Include, where you would have to click all the other formats except Book). This is because when you are making an exception for that format and excluding it from your institution’s deflection policies.
  • My library does not loan DVDs, but I want to allow other libraries in my group to borrow. For this policy, you would Exclude your group, and Include Visual Material –DVD.

Also, choosing two limiters combines both into one policy.

For example: Excluding the format Visual Material – DVD and then selecting a Material Age of Less than: 1 year will deflect only DVDs that are less than one year old.

Screenshot of options in user interface for adding deflections policy information.

On the Deflections screen, a green check mark (green_check.png) indicates that the group or item is included in the deflection (in my library’s policies), meaning that the requests from those groups or for those items will be deflected.  A red X (red_x.png) indicates that the group or item is not included in the deflection.

Deflection Policy Formats

Deflection format


Bibliographic definition of formats

Archival/Mixed Material

Materials in two or more forms that are usually related by virtue of their having been accumulated by or about a person or body. This category includes comprehensive archives and manuscript collections of mixed forms of materials, such as text, photographs, and sound recordings.

Leader/06 is "p"


Books, pamphlets, technical reports, typescripts, theses, dissertations, manuscripts and other written works.

Leader/06 is "a" or "t" AND Leader/07 is "a" or "c" or "d" or "m"

Computer File

Items in the following classes of electronic resources: computer software (including programs, games, images, graphics, sounds, and fonts), numeric data, computer-oriented multimedia, interactive multimedia, computer-oriented documents.

  • The majority of E-Serials will be included as a computer file.  Including a deflection for Computer File may deflect all journal articles from E-Serials.

Leader/06 is "m"

E-Audio Book

Leader value of sound recording and cataloged as website with no dimension (300/c) information provided.

Leader/0t is "i" (lower case letter i) or "j" AND material type is "url" AND no 300/c is in the record.


Serial material cataloged as a website.

Leader/06 is "a", "m", or "t" AND Leader/07 is "s" or "b" AND material type is "m"


Non-serial material cataloged as a website.

Leader/06 is "a" or "t" AND Leader/07 is "a" or "c" or "d" or "m" AND material type is "url"

Government Document

Any material type code for Government publication.

Material type is "gpd"

Integrated Resource

Continually updated resources.

Leader/06 is "a" or "t" AND Leader/07 is "i"

Internet Resource A resource available via a connection to a computer network. Leader/06 is "a" or "t" AND Leader/07 is "i" AND 008/23 is "o" or "s"


Mixtures of various components issued as a unit and intended primarily for instructional purposes.

Material type is "kit"


Any material type code for Government publication.

Material type is "mss"


Maps, map manuscripts, globes, atlases, aeronautical charts, navigational charts, celestial charts, remote- sensing images, computer-generated maps, and other cartographic material.

Leader/06 is "e" or "f"


Original microform publications.

Material type is "mic"

Musical Score

Printed music materials, including full score, choirs score, close score, condensed score, miniature score, part, music manuscript, books of musical studies and exercises.

Leader/06 is "c" or "d"


Serial publications in newspaper format.

Material type is "new"


Serial publications such as periodicals, newspapers, annuals, journals, memoirs, proceedings, monographs.

Leader/06 is "a" or "t" AND Leader/07 is "s" or "b"

Sound Recording

Both musical and non-musical sound recordings. Nonmusical sound recording may include sound effects; bird calls; physical exercise recordings (for example, aerobic workouts) that consist of spoken, shouted, sung, or chanted instructions over musical accompaniment; stories read over incidental music accompaniment; and plays with incidental music.

Leader/06 is "i" or "j"

Sound Recording – Cassette

Material type:  cassette recording.

Leader/06 is "i" or "j" AND material type is "cas"

Sound Recording – CD

Material type:  CD audio.

Leader/06 is "i" or "j" AND material type is "cda”

Sound Recording – LP

Material type:  LP records.

Leader/06 is "i" or "j" AND material type is "lps"

Visual Material

Projected media—Motion pictures, videorecordings, filmstrips, slides, transparencies, and overhead projections or projected images.

Two-dimensional nonprojected graphics—activity cards, charts, collages, drawings, duplication masters, flash cards, graphics, original artwork, paintings, photonegatives, photoprints, pictures, postcards, posters, prints, spirit masters, study prints, technical drawings, transparency masters, photomechanical reproductions, and reproductions of any of these.

Three-dimensional artifacts and naturally occurring objects—models, dioramas, games, puzzles, simulations, sculptures, and other three-dimensional art works, exhibits, machines, clothing, toys, and stitchery. Also may include microscope specimens (or representations of them) and other specimens mounted for viewing.

Leader/06 is "g" or "k" or "o" or "r"

Visual Material – DVD

Material type: videodisc.

Leader/06 is "g" or "k" or "o" or "r" AND material type is "vdc"

Visual Material – VHS

Material type: VHS.

Leader/06 is "g" or "k" or "o" or "r" AND material type is "vca"

Example Deflection Policies

 Note: Fields not listed are left blank.

Policy Policy field What you enter

I will not copy or loan e-Serials to anyone

Policy Name

Service Type

Deflection Type



E-Serials Copy or Loan

Enable Real Time Deflection



I charge $10 for DVDs, and $0 for everything else

Policy Name

Service Type

Deflection Type



Borrower Maximum Cost

DVD at $10 Loan

Enable Real Time Deflection


Visual Material – DVD 10

I charge $25 for libraries not in ILLD

Policy Name

Service Type

Deflection Type


Borrower Maximum Cost Exceptions

Format OCLC Group

$25 not in ILLD Copy or Loan

Enable Real Time Deflection 25


I will not loan materials less than three years old or more than 100 years old

Policy Name Service Type Deflection Type Deflect

Format OCLC Group

Borrower Maximum Cost Material Age

No lend new and old Loan

Enable Real Time Deflection



less than three, or more than 100 years old

I don’t loan or copy serials unless I’m the last in the lender string

Policy Name Service Type Deflection Type


Deflect Format

No Serials Copy or Loan

Enable Real Time Deflection – except when I am last in the lender string