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Patron Eligibility

Students, faculty, and staff at VIVA institutions may request to borrow materials from any participating library. The lending library can withhold borrowing privileges from any patrons who do not comply with institutional policies and procedures. They may choose not to lend to patrons from libraries that are not participating in the program.

Borrowers must present a valid form of photo identification, such as an institutional ID, as well as proof of current status in order to borrow materials. This proof of current status, such as a student showing his or her course schedule or a faculty/staff member showing an entry in a faculty/staff directory, can be facilitated by participating libraries using the Cooperative Borrowing Current Status web page.

The borrower’s home library is requested to provide verification of enrollment or employment, if needed, and to work with the lending library to resolve issues as they arise.

Loan Periods

Loan periods and limitations on the number of items that can be borrowed at one time will be determined by the lending library. Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library. The lending library can set different loan periods for different item types, and it determines which item types can be borrowed through this program.


The borrower is responsible for returning items to the lending library. Some items may be turned in at the home library. It is recommended that the home library ship the book to the lending library in an expedited way according to the ILL guidelines.

The item is not considered "returned" until it is checked in at the lending library. The borrower will be responsible for any fines that accrue even if the item was returned to the home library before the due date.

Fines and Fees

The borrower is responsible for any fines that accrue on materials held past their due dates. The borrower is responsible for paying for materials that are lost or damaged.

The lending library can request assistance from the home library to recover payment for lost or damaged materials and overdue fines from their patrons. Payment for lost, damaged, or non-returned materials can be requested from the home library if payment cannot be obtained from the borrower.


Each library is encouraged to keep statistical data on universal borrowing. At a minimum, each participating library should be able to report the following:

-The number of VIVA borrowers, if possible by home institution and type (faculty and student).
- The number of books lent to VIVA borrowers, if possible by home institution and type (faculty and student).
- The number of books shipped from the home library to the lending library.
- Amounts paid by patrons in overdue fines.
- Amounts paid by patrons or libraries for lost, damaged, or non-returned materials.


Cooperative Borrowing Program

Update to Pilot: The Universal Borrowing Pilot is complete and will be replaced by the Cooperative Borrowing Program, an ongoing, voluntary program within VIVA. A call has gone out for participating institutions. Until the beginning of the Cooperative Borrowing Program on September 1, 2014, it is assumed that the previous Universal Borrowing Pilot is ongoing.

The following is a list of VIVA Member institutions participating in the Universal Borrowing Pilot with links to their student and faculty directories so that current status can be verfied. Institutions participating as lenders may lend to borrowers from non-participating institutions at their discretion.

To find materials at the participating institutions, please go to that institution's website via the member libraries page. This is a separate program from interlibrary loan, since it enables direct, on-site borrowing.

The list of Universal Borrowing contacts for the member libraries can be found here.




VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly and the VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).