RLG AND ARL TO STUDY INTERLIBRARY LOAN COSTS
ILL traffic and costs are up; research libraries to take
hard look at ILL economics in time of change
April 9, 1992 -- The Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the
Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have jointly launched a
project to examine the costs to research libraries of interlibrary
Funded in part by a $10,000 grant from the Council on Library
Resources (CLR), the study will gather and analyze data from 65 North
American research libraries on typical costs of ILL transactions.
With this information, libraries will be better able to assess the
economics of their own borrowing and lending practices, to evaluate
alternative methods of providing these services, and to study the
impact of local serials cancellations.
ENORMOUS INCREASE IN ILL ACTIVITIES
The ARL-RLG study will document the cost to libraries of the enormous
increase in ILL activities that has occurred over the past few years.
ARL libraries report a 47% increase in interlibrary borrowing and a
45% rise in interlibrary lending over the past five years. Recently
published ARL statistics document that over 5.2 million items were
loaned and borrowed by ARL libraries in 1990-91 alone. RLG reports
that RLIN (Research Libraries Information Network) interlibrary loan
traffic has grown approximately 5% per year for the past several
ARL statistics offer evidence that research libraries are moving to a
demand or access model for providing information to users. According
to ARL statistics from the years 1985-86 to 1990-91, the number of
traditional users has increased while the information resources
available on campuses have decreased. One consequence of this trend
has been increased ILL activity.
STUDY RESULTS AVAILABLE SUMMER 1992
The results of the joint study will be published this summer and will
be available from ARL and RLG. (Data collected in the survey
will be reported in the aggregate only and will not be made available
for comparison on a library-by-library basis.)
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
At RLG, please contact Marilyn Roche, phone 415/691-2284, FAX
415/964-0943, email BL.MXR@RLG.BITNET or BL.MXR@RLG.STANFORD.EDU.
At ARL, please contact Jaia Barrett, phone 202/232-2466, FAX
202/462-7849, email JBARRETT@UMDC.BITNET.