One way that research libraries strive to meet the needs of patrons is through interlibrary loan (ILL). The mission of ILL is to provide access to materials for local patrons and to lend materials to other institutions. ILL services supplement libraries’ collections by providing access to materials needed for research, scholarship, and private study that are not available at a user’s home institution. ILL is a research library activity that occurs between two different institutions. Research and academic libraries place ILL requests on behalf of faculty, staff, and students for returnable items (e.g., books, audiovisual materials, microfilm) and non-returnable items (e.g., copies of journal articles, conference papers), usually to obtain material that is out of scope for the home collection or to support the specialized research interest of one of their users. ILL offices supply materials from a variety of countries to other countries. Over the past year, questions have been raised concerning the current ILL practices of some US research libraries. In particular, the focus is on the delivery of resources from US libraries to non–US libraries. The concerns seem to be that these international, non–US libraries do not have to adhere to US copyright law. ARL established a Task Force on International Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Practices to better understand the current international ILL practices of research libraries, to evaluate the concerns of selected scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishers, and to formulate a response to publisher concerns. One tenet of the task force deliberations was to ensure that the research library community takes full advantage of its legal privileges and practices. Data Gathering and Analysis In support of the task force’s work, ARL convened three Working Groups on International Interlibrary Loan, Trends in Licensing, and US Law and International Interlibrary Loan. Members of the working groups are expert practitioners in the community and work within ARL libraries and ARL. Working group members collaborated over a period of several weeks to provide timely background and analysis to inform the task force’s deliberations. For example, members of the Working Group on Trends in Licensing examined the negotiated licenses at two ARL libraries, the generic licenses on the EBSCO site, as well as the STM publisher association member list. The Working Group on US Law and International Interlibrary Loan reviewed copyright law and international agreements pertaining to ILL. And the Working Group on RLI 275 2 Report of the Task Force on International Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Practices ( 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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