January 14, 2008

Interlibrary Loan accord benefits libraries and users

Commenting on the COPPUL press release posted last week, Shirley Lee, Alloway Library’s Interlibrary loan person seeks to clarify a few points:

The press release announces no lending- fees; four-day turnaround time; three-week loan period and a standard charge for photocopied articles. All these apply to the administration or processing of ILL requests between institutions, and do NOT apply directly to the borrower. In other words, nothing has changed for the borrower who requests something from a library that is now covered by the new national agreement.

Alloway Library's ILL fees for books ($5 per item) and articles ($2 per article) remain the same, since those are used to partially cover staff and delivery costs.

Four day turnaround time to fill a request is an improvement for our borrowers, but we still need to account for delivery time, and in the case of books, that's still dependent on regular post.

The 3-week loan period is an improvement, as some libraries, prior to the national agreement, allowed only 2 weeks. But we need to allow time for returning a book in the mail, so the actual period that a borrower may keep an item before returning it, or before requesting for renewal may not be too different from before.

The 'standard' charge for photocopied articles was generally set at $4 per article by many institutions, but Alloway Library never passed along the entire charge to our TWU patrons. They've always paid, and will continue to pay just $2 per article.

The other major benefit resulting from the nation-wide agreement is to TWU students and employees who live outside our campus vicinity, and who wish to borrow resources from another institution. Under the agreement, they can borrow from participating academic libraries across Canada, just by showing a COPPUL card (issued by Alloway Library) and a valid TWU ID card.

Contributed by Shirley Lee
Assistant Librarian, Systems, Acquisition & Interlibrary Loan

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