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Re: Interlibrary loan experts? Snakeadelic

Posted by fallsfall on April 17, 2005, at 12:03:46

In reply to Re: Interlibrary loan experts?, posted by Snakeadelic on April 17, 2005, at 10:45:02

> The small library doesn't do interlibrary loans; I checked on that and I'd have to find a way to get 30 miles either north or south to the nearest libraries that have that capability. I will, however, check for the book you mentioned at the library here in town. I wrote asking for help and I will explore ideas given in return!

I work as a librarian in a small library (12,000 population, 30,000 books) and we do interlibrary loan. In my state there is a van that drives around the state each week picking up and dropping off books from one library to the next. Your state must have a lower population density than mine..? I like to think that librarians are a helpful crew in general, and that with a little creativity you could set up an arrangement that would work for you.

I have gone so far as to pick up a book from a university library 1200 miles away (where I happened to be going to visit my son), and sent it back in the mail (this book was for me, not one of my patrons...). I have also called around to 4 different libraries in my state on a Saturday morning looking for a particular book (on cancer, the patron was frantic!) and arranged for the patron to drive to that library and pick it up that day - she could return it to us and we sent it back on the van. That way she didn't have to wait the week to get the book.

Here are some possibilities:

1. If your local library does want to help, but there isn't a van, they might be able to do ILL through the mail. If we need a book that noone in the state has, then we get it from out of state through the mails. We don't like doing that as much because we don't have easy connections with the sending library, and it has to go through the mails (i.e. it costs us money - the van is paid for by the state, and we have to go to the post office to mail it). Your library might be willing to do ILL via the mails for you if you suggest it. If they are still hesitant, offer to pay the postage to send the item back (library book rate is really cheap...). Or even to walk to the post office to make the delivery? In other words if you are willing to help out a little, they might be able to help you out.

2. Call your state library and explain your dilemma. They might be willing to do ILL through the mail with you.

3. Babblemail me and let me know what state you are in and I'll try to find out if there is another way (click on my blue name above this post and you can send me a babblemail)

If you do set up a special arrangement, there are a couple of things you can do to make the librarians happy with you.

1. Check out the book a bit (i.e. on Amazon?) so that you aren't requesting books that you won't be using.

2. Understand that it might take a couple of weeks for a book to arrive.

3. Take good care of the books.

4. Return them early if you can, or at least never late (it is uncomfortable for one library to have an overdue book from another library...). Find out if the 'due date' they tell you is when it needs to be back to your local library, or back to the lending library. Factor in mail time.

5. Let the librarians know how much you appreciate their efforts for you.

Let me know what you find! I think ILL is a wonderful thing.




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