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Special Interest Group Archive: Resource Sharing 2/6/2019

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

Meeting Overview

The Resource Sharing SIG met on February 6th, 2019 from 1-4 PM. The convener was Theresa Davis from Mount Saint Mary College. The next SIG meeting will be Thursday June 27th from 1-4 PM. Judy Gitlin from Dominican College will be the convener.

Theresa started the meeting with an ice breaker: what is the highest amount you've ever seen for an ILL request? (The highest was $175!) The group then discussed many things including possible topics for an upcoming ILL day, how to manage user interactions, and their procedures for certain ILL practices.

Managing User Expectations

Possible topics: billing for  items. How do you do it?

  • One example: the patron has to write the check. There is a form to fill out which includes the item's information, the patron's name, and the check.
  • If a book is overdue, if it’s under 25 waive the fee for the lost book. It’s not worth the time to go through the process of billing them when the book usually makes its way home eventually.
  • Some find that books rarely go missing. Some will just wait for it without submitting a bill, especially if it's an item that isn't used a lot. . However, it can be a challenge when they do go missing.. It's hard to call a patron a liar if they swear they returned it.
  • One public library manages this by limiting how many items you can have: five from the hold shelf, five from the stacks.

Searching for items:

  • More people than ever are submitting ILL requests for things they already have access to.
  • Do you fill requests of things you already own? Mount St Mary will send the item with a note that they could have received it through their own databases.
  • At what point do we need to look at where the students are coming from (elementary, middle, high school) to figure out what the issue is? Once they get to college they should know how to search for items in their own catalogs.
  • NYS does mandate that library instruction be part of the curriculum. However, students don't seem to be getting the instruction they need.
  • People don’t know how to search public library catalogs, either.
  • What do you do when the patron refuses to search for the item themselves? One library will direct people to the reference department if they get too many requests for items that are owned. Reference will provide instruction on using the catalog.

Aquisitions & ILL

Do your acquisitions departments work together with ILL?

  • Some people have acquisitions staff who will look at an ILL item to determine if it should be actually purchased. 
  • One example: at the end of the year, provide a report of ILL items with titles and subject headings. This lets you know where the gaps in your collections are.
  • The 5/5 rule can also help determine what journals you might need to purchase. If you are getting requests for the same things over and over again, it might make sense to buy them.
  • If anything that hits copyright consider subscribing and make a decision. Don’t get too many book requests. There isn’t a formal procedure in place, but sometimes think about purchasing it.
  • It is important to take into the consideration the cost of ILL. If ILL would be more, it makes sense to get the book instead.
  • MHLs: if a patron comes, member libraries look in their system catalog and then SEAL. If they can purchase it on amazon for 25 or less, it cant go through OCLC. The cost is too high otherwise.
  • One college example: If there isn’t a lot available through ILL, will contact the reference librarian to see if they’ll purchase it. Occasionally they will hand it straight to them.
  • Another example:  if ILL staff cant get it anywhere, they have a slip they’ll use to give to acquisitions. (Have to give it to the appropriate person.)
  • Go to SEAL - > Amazon (for information) -> OCLC (RCLS)


Some potential ideas for an ILL Day:

  • OCLC rep to come and explain what’s actually happening with ILLiad / Tipasa.
  • How to politely  talk to patrons and how to mange user expectations. (Ex: how do we make sure they know they are on the hook for anything that goes missing? Or that they will need to wait for ILL items?)
  • Some people are having issues with patrons not returning items in a timely manner. What are some good ways to ensure items will be returned when they are due back?
  • The group would prefer a mixture of presentations and group discussions at the event.
  • ILL policies – how to develop a strong policy.
  • Streaming media & inter—library loan, copyright --> what are the rules regarding lending?

The group decided on October 18th as a tentative time for the ILL Day.


  • E-books…has anybody heard anything lately?
  • Occam’s Reader: a way for inter-library loan to trade e-books
  • People aren’t finding that there are a lot of requests for them. Usually deny them / don’t fill them.
  • General usage of e-books is through the roof, though.
  • ILL hasn’t really caught up to the current needs of people.
  • Generational issue – will probably change when it is necessary to change.
Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
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Phone: (845) 883-9065