New Publication Announcement: Profiles of Best Practices in Academic Library Interlibrary Loan James Moses 08 May 2009 14:27 UTC

Primary Research Group has published Profiles of Best Practices in Academic
Library Interlibrary Loan, ISBN # 1-57440-122-X.  The study profiles the
interlibrary loan efforts of nine leading American colleges: the University of
Texas at Arlington, Tulane University, the University of Minnesota, Indiana
University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Brigham Young University, the
University of Tennessee, Colorado State University, Oberlin College and Stony
Brook University. The report was edited and supervised by Paul Kelsey, MLS,
University of Texas, Austin.

The libraries interviewed shared their thoughts on a broad range of topics
including but not restricted to: workflow management, productivity measures,
departmental organization, budgets and spending trends, service to distance
learning students, copyright and licensing issues, measures for special
collections, automation and software use, use of institutional repositories and
open access publications, shipping costs and procedures, and many other
facets of academic interlibrary loan management.

The purpose of the report is to define and diffuse best practices by profiling
measures taken by nine leading institutions of higher education.  Although the
report contains much useful quantitative information, especially relating to
budgets and employment, the focus in this report is on a journalistic narrative
explaining departmental goals, procedures and practices and evaluating

Just a few of the report’s main findings are that:

•	Surprisingly, institutional repositories (IR) and open access (OA)
materials have not substantially impacted interlibrary loan services, at least
not for the libraries surveyed. Most of the participants report the same or an
increased volume of business, and most of the departments do not have a
system for tracking these materials.

•	Perhaps as a result of the advantages of participation in consortiums
all of the departments reported relatively low use of commercial document
delivery services. Some of the commercial suppliers used were: Ingenta, the
British Library, Harvard Business Publishing, CISTI, ASME, Sage, Informa, NTIS,
Storming Media, InfoTrieve, and the National Library of Medicine.

•	All of the libraries report offering the same services (with some
exceptions) to their constituents regardless of their status as students or
faculty members. In general, the departments do not charge at all for services
(some reported occasionally charging under special circumstances), and most
do not impose limits on the amount of material patrons can order.

•	All of the departments offer the same ILL services to distance
education students as to other constituents, with some minor differences. The
distance education students sign up for ILLiad accounts and receive the
majority of their articles electronically.

•	The majority of the libraries typically do not loan special collections
items or lend out such items only under special circumstances.

•	Most of the reporting libraries use turnaround time and fill rate as the
chief measures for evaluating service and productivity. Depending on the
library, departments run ILLiad reports weekly, monthly, annually or on an as-
needed basis, and several libraries report using customized Microsoft Access
reports to analyze data.

The full 110-page report is available from Primary Research Group or from
leading book distributors. For further information view our website at or call us at 212-736-2316