This specification operates with two scenarios, the integrated libraries scenario and the connected libraries scenario.
The Integrated (strongly-coupled) scenario is an extended cooperation between libraries (e.g. school and public libraries) with the goal to act as one library. The Connected (weakly-coupled) Libraries scenario is focused on handling return of items on others libraries that the item belong to.
In the integrated libraries scenario the library automation tool in the integrated library should be able to offer the circulation services to patrons from any of the cooperating libraries (external patrons) and concerning items owned by any of the cooperating libraries (external items). The following services will be offered (concerns items and patrons from any of the cooperating libraries, if not stated otherwise):
1. Reserve an item for a patron (including reservations with 3rd pickup location).
2. Lend an item for a patron.
3. Renew a loan.
4. Return an item.
5. Cancel a reservation.
6. Ship an item to a cooperating library.
7. Receive an item shipped from a cooperating library.
8. Report that an item is lost.
9. Perform a payment for a fee or fine.
In the connected libraries scenario the library automation tool should be able to offer return of an item owned by any of the connected libraries.
In order to support a number of specific use cases in these scenarios, various NCIP services have to be implemented.