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Special Interest Group Archive: Resource Sharing 07/18/2019

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

Meeting Overview

The Resource Sharing SIG met on July 18th. The convener was Judy Gitlin from Dominican College. She started the meeting by passing around an old ILL slip. Before automated systems, slips were mailed from library to library and they would check on the shelf to see if they had items.

The group discussed several different topics including fines, customer service, copyright, and professional development.

The next meeting date is TBD.

ILL Fines and Policies

One of the topics the group discussed was policies and fines for ILL policies:

  • One library was considering putting fines into the policy. However, this has to be coordinated with a larger library fine change.
  • Having a set policy can be a good way to back up what you’re saying.
  • Some people don’t like libraries to have fines of any kind; find them threatening and alienating.
  • However, administrations are frequently resistant to the idea of doing away with fines altogether. They believe fines help students learn responsibility for their actions.  
  • The group then discussed current fines in place at their institution. At one college, students weren’t able to register for classes after their fines reached 5 dollars. They also couldn’t get transcripts or diplomas.
  • At another, there were no major consequences for unreturned books. Diplomas weren’t withheld.
  • Faculty are the most frequent borrowers of ILL items, but they generally don’t get fined. Most always bring them back—it just might not be on time.
  • Should there be hold fines? Some people aren’t picking up materials (this is true for both academic and public libraries.)   
  • There are now auto-renewals in Mid-Hudson, which is useful for preventing overdue books.


  • ILL sometimes brings up really complex copyright questions.
  • One consortium recently started requiring AV lending. However, it is unclear whether lending DVD’s to colleges without educational licenses is against the law.
  • Southeastern has an ask the lawyer service, which can be useful for submitting complicated legal questions. More information and the form is available here:
  • There is also a “recently asked questions” page ( which lists the lawyer’s answers to recent questions. This can be really helpful because answers questions might already be in there.

Customer Service

  • What is the best way to get in touch with patrons? People are getting so many emails in a day. This can lead to visual static—things get lost in the shuffle.
  • People not paying attention to emails – deleting them and “unsubscribing”. One library did find that responses to ILL emails were more frequent when it was sent from an official ILL email address.
  • Students seem to have some difficulty navigating ILL webpages.   
  • Mostly using ILLiad or people at the front desk to initiate ILL transaction.
  • One library is working to institute a new customer service policy called radical hospitality. The idea is to go above and beyond for your customers. Hard to balance with being a pushover. For example, one student came to the front desk asking for posterboards. The people at the front desk tracked some down from old bulletins.    
  • Sometimes this can be a challenge because when patrons come in, the thing they want is not the thing they’re asking for. Some people don’t have the words to express it, so whoever is working needs reference skills.
  • Some people view the library as a place where they can get whatever materials they need—scissors, glue, etc. Sometimes this can get a bit excessive.

Professional Development

  • Where do you find professional development opportunities?
  • A lot of it comes from meeting ILL practitioners in person. List servs are also helpful.
  • Kelsey is going to be working on an enhanced ILL resources page to pull relevant information like list servs, webinars, conferences, copyright resources, etc, all together.
  • Southeastern is also having an ILL Day on October 18th.
  • Going to be discussions on the future of ILL and how to advocate for yourself, as well as a presentation on ADA compliance and ILL marketing.
  • Would like to include some time for people to interact / work with each other. One idea would be a “hot seat” game where people could present specific issues in their libraries and get feedback from the group.
  • Could also do a world café to create some interesting and deep conversations.
  • The group was also interested in potentially having people from the ReShare project ( visit and talk about it. It’s an OSS alternative to subscription services. They are hoping to be similar to ILLiad and connect disparate systems together.
Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065