scholarship, and private study that are not available at a user’s home institution.1 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. The requesting process is transparent, and requests are automatically forwarded to the next possible supplying library in the system when a request cannot be filled. Much interlibrary lending is of materials that are old, out of print, and not available online a broad spectrum of resources are requested. As discoverability of published material has become easier due to technological advances, library patrons see more information resources that they want. This knowledge has created an increased demand for both in-print and out-of-print books. In addition, more information resources are now published outside the US, and library patrons do not generally look at the publisher’s country of origin—they look only at an item that they need. Finally, OCLC has loaded significantly more foreign library records. As a result, it is far easier to know who has what and acquire and/or request those materials thus the “walls” between countries become permeable. It is standard ILL practice to look within the home country first and then search internationally (as other countries come to the US when material is not available locally). This practice is consistent with the well-considered International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) best practices, which have a long history dating back to 1954.2 US research libraries work within this tradition. As we borrow more internationally we build relationships with libraries in other countries, develop reciprocity, and supply the materials that they require. If US research libraries are unable to lend materials to international libraries, it would jeopardize our ability to borrow resources from other countries that are needed locally and thus would impair scholarship. All non-returnables are delivered using a standard suite of options, including Ariel,3 Relais,4 Odyssey,5 fax, e-mail, courier service, and postal service. Delivery from library to library is normally electronic, but there are different approaches for delivery to the patron. Some research libraries deliver paper copies, while RLI 275 8 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
Previous Page Next Page