Ice-breaker: What is your favorite thing about inter-library loan?
- You get to play ILL detective! It can be fun to do searches for material that is hard to locate. Sometimes you have to track down incomplete citations, items only available at select libraries, items in a foreign language. ILL can be really intellectually challenging.
- It's great to see how generous people are with their content. They are willing to share their materials with other libraries and trust that it will be taken care of.
- It can be a great feeling to get what is needed for patrons. Patrons are always so excited when they get their ILL materials!
- You are able to interact with a lot of different staff members and librarians.
- When you share ILL services with people for the first time, they are usually so shocked and impressed.
- Always interesting to see what people request.
Have you noticed any changes in patron expectations / experiences with inter-library loan since the pandemic?
-- People tend to have a lot more patience for materials. They also have more gratitude once an item is located.
- Pre-pandemic patrons would sometimes have an expectation that they would receive the article in half an hour or less.
- There is an expectation that you can keep them for a long time. This might be because over the pandemic libraries were renewing items very generously. Now lending periods are a bit shorter.
- In general, heavy users of ILL have a lot of patience. The new ones don't always understand that you sometimes have to wait several days to receive an article. And longer for a lot of books!
How do you communicate about your library’s ILL services?
- Second email back-up: have multiple library staff receive ILL updates.
- Always let the patron know that messages are coming from a staff member, not a machine.
- Only send notifications once an ILL material has been fully processed. In the past notifications went out when they were received, and some patrons showed up at the desk before items had been checked out.
- Also can let patrons know “your item will be ready in 30 minutes”.
- Patrons know that for SEAL items they should return it to our circulation date and not at another library.
Do you have any ideas about where ILL is headed in the future?
- Maybe there will be more possibilities for requesting different kinds of media. There is a consortium experimenting with lending streaming videos.
- Typically can’t get e-books via ILL (the infrastructure hasn’t really kept up with changes in patron needs) but recently someone placed an ILL request and received a whole e-book!
- More and more libraries are joining consortia to quickly share materials. Now with SUNY you can return items to any SUNY campus. Moving forward will probably see more of those changes.
Would you be interested in having presentations or targeted discussions at the SIGS?
- like the idea of having a presentation.
- One library experienced a migration from ILLiad to Tipasa. Could talk about that! Several libraries have also migrated onto ReShare with Connect-NY.
Marketing Techniques for ILL:
-One attendee noted their library did a lot of ILL marketing. They accomplished this in different ways through signage, newsletter, marketing messages, bookmarks, quarter sheets.
- Usually emphasized that it was fast, easy, and free. It was a resource if you couldn’t get something through the library.
- When it comes to marketing, it’s important to share with other library staff who don’t do ILL. This way they can incorporate it into their interactions with patrons.
- One college promoted several library resources through a book display.
Are there any non-library training areas that have helped you with inter-library loan:
- Computer skills. It really does involve a lot of detective work, especially when looking for public domain journals. Having computer skills can help you navigate the web and locate hard to find materials.
- You have to be very detail oriented. It’s very easy to make a mistake with ILL. You have to be really precise about author, title, volume, issue, etc. Working on that skill can help.
What are some resources you find helpful for ILL?
- FB ILLers: a facebook ILL group where users share memes, updates, questions, and relevant events: https://www.facebook.com/groups/172179662942180/
- Southeastern has a libguide with ILL resources collected: https://libguides.senylrc.org/ILL-Resources/Southeastern
- List servs, especially ILL-L. It’s a great place for finding out what’s happening. A lot of companies also share information on upcoming conferences. Sign up for ILL-L: http://www2004.lsoft.se/scripts/wl.exe?SL1=ILL-L&H=OCLCLISTS.ORG
Is your library still dealing with effects from the pandemic?
- Still have books that were lent over a year ago.
- A lot of libraries are just taking the losses for materials.
- Have not charged fines since returning.
Is your library still offering curbside?
- only vaccinated people allowed on campus
- Curbside is available for patrons who feel uncomfortable coming into the building.
- One library views it as an EDI issue. Providing both options ensures that patrons can feel comfortable.