or one of a number of library networks, like RapidILL. If a library does not participate in an organized network, an IFLA form or a simple e-mail message will suffice in getting the request started. In most cases, journals published outside of the US are available in US research library collections where discovery, requesting, and payment for ILL transactions are facilitated by resource-sharing services. Lending of returnables presents a number of challenges. Libraries are generally unable to lend originals internationally because international mail service may be unreliable, because shipments usually cannot be tracked, and because of difficulties passing material through customs. Finally, even when libraries are willing to lend originals across borders, costs for shipping are frequently prohibitive for both the requesting and the supplying libraries. Interlibrary loan services are becoming more seamless for both the libraries and the user. The requesting process has become almost invisible to both the user and the borrowing library. In fact, the borrowing library staff may not even be involved in the request, other than learning that the request has been made and fulfilled (delivered electronically). In the automated environment, the user requests a desired title. The system identifies holding libraries based on pre-set profiles that locate the item and create a request. The request routinely progresses until a library indicates that they are able to fulfill it. Any transaction fees are automatically levied and delivered based on the lending and borrowing libraries’ profiles. Outside of networks, payments are becoming increasingly simpler. More libraries are able to handle transaction fees using credit cards and electronic fund transfers (EFT), which eliminate the challenges of exchange rates. As the world continues to discover the explosion of information available, there comes the realization that not all of it is available at our doorstep. Like good global neighbors, research libraries must continue to provide as well as receive. There are many other ways that research libraries acquire materials in addition to ILL. For example, research libraries pay publishers for the rights to provide selected materials to users, whether through acquiring copyrighted works or through licensing agreements. These libraries measure and pay copyright fees as expected, according to the established guidelines and laws. There is also a growing trend for libraries to purchase on demand. Libraries check domestic suppliers before going to international locations. Many publishers have the electronic documents available almost immediately upon payment. RLI 275 10 White Paper: International Interlibrary Loan ( C O N T I N U E D ) JUNE 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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