Category Archives: Interlibrary Loan

Library Consortium Tests Interlibrary Loans of e-Books

The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17, 2014

Excerpt: “But lending e-books may soon get easier. This spring a pilot project called Occam’s Reader will test software custom-built to make it both easy and secure for libraries to share e-book files while keeping publishers happy—or so the software’s creators hope.”

Occam’s Reader Project

Library Journal reports on a new collaboration between several universities, the Greater Western Library Alliance, and Springer. This collaboration will focus on the use of a new software called Occam’s Reader used for processing interlibrary loan of e-books.

This is the first major collaboration of its kind between academic libraries and a major publisher.

Rethinking library resource sharing: new models for collaboration

Access the white paper for the presentation “Rethinking library resource sharing: new models for collaboration” from the IFLA World Library and Information Congress held in August 2013.

This presentation provides an overview of how resource sharing services are evolving to meet changing user needs for digital and global information. It also reviews some of the tools and standards that resource sharing practitioners are using to improve services, and highlights some of the emerging library partnerships/collaborations that are reshaping the boundaries of library and information resource sharing.

GWLA Launches BorrowItNow

Monday, August 19, 2013

Today, the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) is excited to launch BorrowItNow, a consortial borrowing system based on the Relais International D2D product. BorrowItNow allows patrons to discover library materials via a virtual union catalog, which spans across all participating members’ ILS systems. BorrowItNow provides for unmediated requests, transmitting real time availability and call numbers to the lending library, while balancing request loads across the consortium.
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Call for Proposals – Resource sharing and ILL conference

“Call for Proposals – Reminder!
The NWILL Conference Program Committee invites proposals for sessions of interest to interlibrary loan and resource sharing practitioners for our conference to take place September 11-13, 2013, in Portland, Oregon at Portland Community College – Sylvania Campus.

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Interlibrary Loan and Stockholm Syndrome

Library Journal online, Sept 21, 2012

Excerpt: “But that’s not the main reason it’s become so hard to figure out what to do about interlibrary loan in the digital age. The other one, I think, is deeper and more intractable, and it has to do with what I think of as a library-specific version of Stockholm Syndrome (the tendency of some people who have been kidnapped to eventually begin sympathizing with their captors).”


10th Nordic Resource Sharing, Reference and Collection Management Conference

“We would like to draw your attention to the 10th Nordic Resource Sharing, Reference and Collection Management Conference that will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland on October 3 – 5th this year. The conference title is Rethinking Library Services – New technologies – New opportunities.

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RUSA/STARS Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group program

“If you are attending ALA Midwinter in Dallas our please join us for our RUSA/STARS Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group program, Saturday, January 21, from 10:30-12 in Omni Dallas Hotel-Trinity 3 (Session URL:

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12th Interlending and Document Supply Conference

This Conference took place in Chicago, September 19th-21st. Many of the sessions dealt with the collaborative aspects of document lending, such as:

“Resource Sharing in the Digital Age: Challenges and Prospects in Nigerian University Libraries” by Stella Anasi and Ali Hussaini

The digital age has had a profound impact on the nature, volume and variety of information resources such that no single library alone can provide all the resources for effective service delivery to its users. The paradigm shift from being “all alone” to collaborating and sharing of resources with others is now a global phenomenon which university libraries in Nigeria cannot afford to ignore. Unfortunately, resource sharing among university libraries in Nigeria seems to be uncommon in spite of the prevailing information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the opportunities they proffer for effective resource sharing.

“Future of Resource Sharing in Turkey: Can Open-Access be an Alternative?” by Ertugrul Cimen

Resource sharing activities in Turkey have gained momentum in recent years, but only with respect to the sharing of print materials. As global use of electronic resources becomes increasingly common and the sale of electronic books at surpasses that of printed books, the concepts related to resource sharing will change around the world and the sharing of electronic resources will become a necessity.

Major publishers have begun adding clauses to their license agreements so as to identify how electronic content can be shared with other libraries’ users. In response to this development, librarians are taking an increasingly active role in the preparation of new license agreements; in coming years, librarians and library consortia will have to lead a difficult negotiating process with publishers. Collaboration, resource sharing and document supply services in Turkey must be redesigned in the near future to include electronic resource sharing services.

“RapidILL: Fast, Collaborative, and Cost-Effective Resource Sharing in Today’s ILL World” by Tom Delaney and Michael Richins

Begun as a homegrown system serving 6 partner libraries, RapidILL has since expanded to one that processes about 1 million requests annually for over 200 partner libraries. Rapid produces a very high degree of cost savings at $5.41 per request (prior to numerous innovations and technological enhancements) according to the 2004 ARL cost study, a dramatic improvement in response time for photocopy requests, and a fill rate that has never been lower than 94%. Rapid is also system-neutral and interacts with ILLiad, Clio, Relais, and OCLC.

Rapid works with groups of libraries willing to meet specific service parameters, but must be priced attractively enough to attract the attention of a sufficient number of partners. The authors will explain the difficulties of developing a program that operates on a cost-recovery basis within the confines of a state-funded university system. This paper will evaluate costs, reasons that libraries have joined Rapid, and what makes RapidILL unique in the ILL world.

“HathiTrust: Digital Access as the Intersection of Interlibrary Lending Potential and the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights” by Kristina Eden and Anne Beaubien

The HathiTrust Digital Library is a major repository and digitization project which grew out of the GoogleBooks scanning project. In addition to providing open access to public domain books, HathiTrust could potentially change ILL workflow and enable better international sharing of resources. With a collection of nearly 8 million items, HathiTrust is a significant digital resource and this paper will explore its impact on ILL.

Barriers to lending books internationally have included costly shipping charges, institutional lending policies, preservation issues, and payment methods. Large-scale digital repositories have overcome these barriers by making full-text items easily viewable online. HathiTrust improves on this idea by adding robust Bibliographic and Data API’s which support integration into local workflow, for example the inclusion of links in local catalog records or searchable metadata.

This paper will evaluate the HathiTrust Digital Library within the context of ILL. The authors will review the impact on international lending and how Hathi might advance digital resource collaboration worldwide, examine how these processes are complicated by intellectual property rights, and discuss what the next steps might be for the ILL community.

“Resource sharing in a cloud computing age” by Matthew R. Goldner and Katie Birch

Cloud computing is changing how businesses operate. It offers libraries new opportunities for collaboration and sharing, while also promising cost savings and improved workflows. The impact of cloud computing is not so much about specific technology, but rather how it helps libraries manage the shift of information from print and physical media to electronic resources. We must ensure a continued environment of cooperation and resource sharing for libraries. By identifying and addressing our common challenges, we can make libraries a continued force in the world of Web-based information services.

“Light at the End of the Tunnel: Transitioning from One Interlending System to Another” by Sharon Howells and Cathie Jilovsky

In 2010, two Australian libraries made the unusual decision to move from one successfully operating interlending system to another equally successful interlending system. Why? How? What was involved?

This paper will examine the circumstances that led to this decision and outline the progression from review and analysis of interlending systems available in the Australian marketplace, to the detailed project management and the transition to and implementation of the new system. Issues discussed will include the preparation, planning, the anticipated and real impact on the library user experience, consultations and collaborations required to achieve a successful transition, as well as some of the trials and tribulations experienced along the way.

“Radical Collaboration and the Future of the Academic Library: The 2CUL Project as Case Study” by James G. Neal

Cooperation is part of the professional DNA of academic libraries, and is a constant for service, success and survival. Academic libraries will be increasingly defined by new and energetic relationships and combinations, a radicalization of the working relationships among libraries, between libraries and the communities they serve, and in new entrepreneurial partnerships. The context for collaboration combines rapidly shifting user requirements, a need to rethink redundant inefficient library operations, an increasing emphasis on unique resources, a requirement to achieve scale and network effects through aggregation, a mandate for systemic change, and unprecedented economic pressures. This paper will explore these developments in the context of the 2CUL partnership between Columbia and Cornell University Libraries, a transformative and enduring partnership between two major academic research libraries based on a broad integration of resources, collections, services, infrastructure and expertise.

“CALIS ILL and DDS Systems: a successful way of resource sharing” by Xiaoxia Yao

Even in the digital age, interlibrary loan and document delivery are two of the primary forms of resource sharing. As one of public component of “project 211”, CALIS aims to provide high-level services for teaching and academic research and to promote, maintain and improve resource sharing among academic libraries in China.

CALIS has been dedicated to establishing an “open, peer-to-peer” interlibrary loan (ILL) and document delivery service (DDS) system from the very beginning. That means any two members of CALIS can initiate and process ILL/DDS transactions via the service system, the principal achievements of which include: 1) a single ILL/DDS network, composed of about 60 supplying libraries; 2) a unified ILL/DDS system based on the ISO10160/10161 ILL standard; and 3) one framework for collaboration, the Coordination Group of ILL Service in Chinese Academic Libraries. This paper will review these achievements one by one and consider the network’s future development as well.


Excerpt: “A recent statement by the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) advocates a set of new guidelines for document delivery ( While intellectual property laws vary from country to country, STM’s approach would radically alter well-established library practices that advance knowledge, support scholarship, and are compliant with current copyright laws. The STM recommendations are in conflict with widely held principles that provide a copyright exception for interlibrary loan (ILL) activities. The regime anticipated by the STM statement would place unfair restrictions on researchers’ access to information.”

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