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You should have a policy on lending objects. This could either be a standalone document or part of a wider collections management policy. Either way, in deciding your policy you will most likely need to consider these questions:
- Why might you lend objects?
- Who can potentially borrow from you?
- Why might you refuse loan requests?
- Are there objects you would not normally consider lending?
- What is the minimum and maximum length of a loan?
- How much notice do you normally need to consider loan requests?
- Who can authorise the loan of your objects?
- What are your terms and conditions for lending?
You should also have a written procedure that explains the steps to follow when objects are being considered for loan, and when they are loaned. Spectrum’s suggested procedure is a useful starting point, but however you do it, your own procedure should meet the following minimum requirements:
|Minimum requirement||Why this is important|
|All loan requests are assessed according to your policy.||You treat all loan requests in a fair and transparent way.|
|The reason for each loan is clearly stated.||Borrowers do not use your objects in a way that goes beyond the agreed purpose.|
|All loans are for fixed periods.||It is clear to borrowers that loans are not ‘permanent’.
The loan procedure is not used unethically as a backdoor way to dispose of objects.
|You have a written agreement signed by you and the borrower before any loan begins, with clear reference to the care standards they agree to meet and other terms and conditions.||You have a formal record of what was agreed in case any problems arise during the loan.|
|Borrowers have appropriate insurance or indemnity for your objects while in their care (including in transit).||The costs of any damage or loss during a loan out are covered.
Objects are not left without cover while they are being transported.
|You keep a written record of all loans.||You can consult the relevant loan file in case a problem arises after the object is returned to you.
Use of your collections by borrowers forms part of the recorded history of objects.