"Interlibrary Loan as a Library Instruction Initiative"
Poster Presentation #V-17, 1998 ALA Conference

Douglas F. Hasty, MLS
Green Library
Florida International University
Miami, Florida, USA


Interlibrary Loan, once seen as a privileged library service reserved for only a handful of library patrons, has become integrated into mainstream library services and bibliographic instruction programs. As with any other library service, patrons require assistance with Interlibrary Loan procedures and policies. Within this responsibility of assistance exists the need to provide the patron with sufficient understanding of ILL and electronic and print reference resources which help them to locate and request materials not owned by their home library.

In helping the library patron to understand Interlibrary Loan service, bibliographic research, and citation verification, Interlibrary Loan helps the patron to locate and receive their needed materials through formal and informal ILL instruction initiatives. Overall, one of the primary goals of the modern Interlibrary Loan service is to make the library patron as ILL-independent and self-sufficient as possible. The objectives of the Interlibrary Loan Instruction Initiative is to have patrons perform research effectively, understand varied citation formats, and successfully submit ILL requests. Achieving these objectives will allow requests to be more quickly expedited and filled. Therefore, the Interlibrary Loan Librarian and staff are responsible for initiating and administering Interlibrary Loan instruction which helps to achieve this goal.

Statement of the Problem

Objectives of the Project

Implementation Methodology

Findings and Solutions

Library Instruction Options for Interlibrary Loan and Library Staff

Steps in the Interlibrary Loan Request Process for the Borrowing Patron

These are the steps in the Interlibrary Loan Borrowing Patron Request Process, beginning with the Patron's information or research need and ending with the receipt of materials.
  1. Patron's research and information need begins
  2. Patron visits the Library's Reference Desk or other service desk facility
  3. Information or research request becomes a reference interview
  4. Reference Librarian provides advice, guidance, and instruction
  5. Patron identifies materials needed via indexes, abstracts, catalogs, web search, bibliographies, footnotes and endnotes in published works, and personal contacts or references
  6. Patron accesses the Library's OPAC or print catalog to begin collecting materials
  7. Patron determines their home Library's ownership status of needed materials, and discovers that:
    (7A) Some or all of the needed materials are not owned by the home Library
    (7B) Some or all materials are owned by the home Library
  8. Patron obtains materials from home Library, but how does the patron obtain the needed materials not located in their home Library? Patron returns to the Reference Desk for further instruction
  9. Reference Librarian, other Librarians, colleagues, and friends refers Patron to the Interlibrary Loan Office
  10. Patron visits the ILL Office and begins the ILL Request Process:
    (10A) First-time ILL Patrons inquire about expectations of service, procedures, and delivery times
    (10B) Experienced ILL Patrons begin ILL material request process as usual
  11. Requests submitted to the ILL Office according to the home Library's ILL policies and procedures
  12. Requests are reviewed by ILL Staff for compliance with ILL procedures, accurate information, and other data relevance
  13. Patron is contacted by telephone, fax, email, or written correspondence if information in the ILL request form prevents processing because data provided is inaccurate, incomplete, or illegible
  14. Requests are processed and ordered (via electronic systems or non-electronic means) in accordance with ALA/ILL codes, internal ILL procedures, and the U.S. Copyright Law
  15. Responses to requests from Lending Libraries are received:
    (15A) Lending Library promises to ship material
    (15B) No library is willing to lend material or supply photocopy
  16. Material is received or first round of ordering has ended:
    (16A) Material is received and given to Patron
    (16B) Patron notified about the inability to locate a Lending Library on first round of ordering

    Links to Interlibrary Loan Related web pages at Florida International University

    Douglas Hasty's Home Page
    Douglas Hasty's Resume
    Email Douglas Hasty a message to his work email address or home email address
    July 30, 1999