Chapter 6: Selected case studies – Global Resource Sharing

6

Selected case studies

Abstract:

Based on email conversations with respondents to our first survey for information on participation in international ILL, this chapter provides more detail on resource sharing practices by a selected group of libraries from around the world. Web resources and further reading are included.

Key words

Argentina

Australia

Canada

Caribbean

China

copyright

Egypt

Former Soviet Union

Israel

Latin America

national libraries

Netherlands

New Caledonia

Singapore

Sweden

United Kingdom

United States

Introduction

Because of issues with SurveyMonkey, the second set of 14 questions was sent by email as either an attached Word or PDF document to respondents. A copy of the second survey is included in the Appendix. Replies to this survey also form the basis for the selected country or region case studies that appear here. Additional information contained in these descriptions was obtained from a variety of supplementary sources, including a search of library literature and related websites as well as personal communications with interlibrary loan librarians around the world. Web addresses and URLs given are current as of February, 2011. These case studies should not be viewed as comprehensive guides to the interlibrary loan policies, practices and procedures of individual countries. Rather, they are meant to provide a snapshot that is a very brief and selective look at the landscape at this time.

Argentina

Public and private libraries have existed in Argentina since 1610 (Zimmerman 2004, 108). National Argentinian libraries are the Biblioteca National de la República Argentina (established in 1810) and the Library of Congress of the Nation (established 1959). Library consortia include Base de Datos Unificada (BDU) and Biblioteca Eletectrónica de Ciencia y Tecnolgïa de la Repüblica Argentina (BE – MINCTY).

Currently no centralized interlibrary loan system exists in Argentina and international requests are dealt with on a library-to-library basis. Interlibrary loan is performed in the following libraries: Biblioteca Nacional de Maestros (National Teachers Library), Biblioteca de Congresso (Congress Library), the University of Buenos Aires, Biblioteca de la Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (Library of the Argentine University of Enterprise), Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina and the Library of the University of San Andrés. The Centro Argentino de Información y Technológica (CAICYT) offers a national journal location and photocopy service. When possible, articles are supplied from within Argentina but international requests are made when necessary (Cornish, 2001).

Copyright laws for Argentina can be located on the UNESCO site at: http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.phpURL_ID=15380&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

In our informal study of international interlibrary loan practices in Argentina, one response was received. The first set of questions dealt with borrowing requests. The library reported that it does borrow internationally and that no restrictions are placed on countries from which they will try to borrow. Restrictions may be placed on what format types will be requested and include media, electronic resources and current publications. Attempts will be made to fill requests locally before looking internationally.

In the second set of questions, respondents were asked about lending procedures. Again, this library lends internationally and has no restrictions on countries to which they will lend. There are no restrictions on what will be lent.

In the third set of questions, libraries were asked to indicate what technologies were used for both borrowing and lending requests. Responses included: fax, email, and surface or air mail. The computer-based technology used is ILLiad. This library does not belong to a country-wide consortium.

Finally, the respondent was asked to look ahead to the future of ILL in Argentina. It is hoped that ‘interlibrary loan will grow and that many public and private universities will adopt it.’

Web resources

Base de Datos Unificada – http://bdu.siu.edu.ar/index.htm

Biblioteca Electrónica de Ciencia y Tecnología – http://www.biblioteca.mincyt.gov.ar/

Biblioteca National de la República Argentina – http://www.bn.gov.ar/

Centro Argentino de Información y Technológica – http://www.caicyt.gov.ar/

Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina – http://www.uca.edu.ar/index.php/home/index/es/universidad/biblioteca/

Universidad Argentina de la Empresa – http://www.uade.edu.ar/

Further reading

Cornish, Graham P. Brief Communication: Document Supply in Latin America – Report of a Seminar. Interlending & Document Supply. 2001; 29(3):126–128.

Zimmerman, Maria Peruchena, Ana. Libraries in Argentina: An Overview. IFLA Journal. 2004; 30(2):108–128.

Australia

Resource sharing in Australia is a well-established service that has also undergone considerable change in the past 20 years. Following a distributed model of library service, there is a solid element of voluntary cooperation between and among libraries. In addition to a strong national library, there are 6 state or territorial libraries and nearly 5,000 public, academic, and special libraries. A national union catalog and national list of serials were first published in the early 1960s and the Australian National Bibliography was published electronically in 1972. In 2007, an agreement was signed between the National Library of Australia and OCLC to add 12 million bibliographic records to WorldCat. OCLC products, including VDX – the ISO-compliant interlibrary loan and document delivery management system – are used across Australia to catalog, find, and share library materials. Libraries are encouraged to follow the national Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) code of practice but what is borrowed and lent may vary among institutions. Interlibrary loan and document delivery are governed by the Copyright Act of 1968, which includes exceptions for libraries and archives.

The National Library of Australia has assumed a central role in the area of interlibrary loan and document delivery. It manages the subscription-based Libraries Australia, a national resource discovery and sharing network. Libraries Australia Document Delivery (LADD) and its Payment Service (LADDPS) are used widely for transmission and financial transactions between supplying and requesting libraries.

An innovative approach to international resource sharing program is the Trans Tasman Interloan Gateway. With agreed upon policies and integrated VDX technology that facilitates the discovery and delivery process, the gateway enables more than 900 libraries in Australia and New Zealand to use a single search interface to search and request materials. A centralized billing system is managed by Libraries Australia.

In our informal study of international resource sharing in Australia responses were received from three libraries. All engage in both international borrowing and lending, ranging in number from a few per year to hundreds. Types of materials typically requested and lent are books and articles, although microforms, theses and conference papers may also be included. Two of the libraries responding to the survey indicated there may be restrictions placed on international borrowing requests, such as academic rank of the requestor or if the item is for work-related research. One library indicated that valuable or irreplaceable items may not be lent internationally but the decision would be made on a case-by-case basis. For all three libraries responding to the questionnaire, a typical borrowing cycle expands out from local, regional and national holdings to the Trans Tasman Gateway. Requests for items held outside Australia and New Zealand are generally individually negotiated to clarify holdings, shipping and payment information, with the possibility that some of the costs will be passed back to the patron.

Libraries were asked what methods and technologies were used for borrowing and lending requests. Responses included: email, Relais, VDX, LADD, LADDPS, IFLA vouchers, and surface and air mail. Two of the three libraries foresaw an increase in international ILL in the future. One library responded that decreases in book budgets will force libraries to rely more on resource sharing. Another agreed with this assessment and added that payment and postage methods need to be simplified and guaranteed.

Web resources

Australasian Digital Theses Program – http://adt.caul.edu.au/

Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing (ILRS) Code – http://www.alia.org.au/interlibrary.lending/ilrs.code.html

Australian Libraries Copyright Alliance – http://www.digital.org.au/alcc/

Australian National University – http://anulib.anu.edu.au/services/docdel/overseas.html

Australian University Libraries Gateway – http://www.australian-universities.com/libraries/

Copyright Act of 1968 – http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cal968133/

National Archives of Australia – http://www.naa.gov.au/index.aspx

National Library of Australia – http://www.nla.gov.au/

Australia Trove – http://trove.nla.gov.au/

Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing Directory – http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/ilrs

Australian Libraries Gateway – http://www.nla.gov.au/libraries/

Document Supply Service – http://www.nla.gov.au/dss/

Libraries of Asia Pacific Directory – http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/lapsdir?action=LapsBrowse

Trans Tasman Interlending – http://www.nla.gov.au/librariesaustralia/docdel/transtasman.html

University of Melbourne Services to Other Libraries – http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/services/ill/externarl.html

Further reading

Hanington, Debbie, Reid, David. Now We’re Getting Somewhere – Adventures in Trans Tasman Interlending. Interlending & Document Supply. 2010; 38(2):76–81.

Missingham, Roxanne. Networking a Nation: ILL Developments in Australia. Library Hi Tech. 2007; 25(2):188–196.

Moreno, Margarita, Xu, Anne. The National Library of Australia’s Document Supply Service: A Brief Overview. Interlending & Document Supply. 2010; 38(1):4–11.

Ong, David, Reid, David, Simons, Natasha. Taming the Tasman: International Interlending Under the Southern Cross. Interlending & Document Supply. 2007; 35(1):38–44.

Canada

Interlibrary loan and document delivery in Canada follows a decentralized model, with a strong national library organization and numerous library systems and consortia in place throughout the country. Libraries generally fall into two kinds of informal networks: (1) college, university, government, special and national and (2) public, regional and provincial (Lemos 1980, 22). There is a great deal of diversity in ILL software, although many libraries use Ariel as a document transmission method. Individual libraries and library systems may have their own ILL codes of practice, which are based on the national code but locally customized.

In 2004, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) combined the collections, services and staff of the former National Library of Canada and the former National Archives of Canada. LAC maintains Canadiana, the national bibliography and legal depository for copies of most material published in Canada, AMICUS, the national online library catalog, and a directory of Symbols and Interlibrary Loan Policies in Canada. The majority of international lending is done through LAC but compromises only about 11 percent of all ILL activity (Kelsall et al., 2010).

From the late 1990s until 2010 the Canadian National Science Library (NRC-CISTI) was one of the largest providers of documents in the areas of science technology and medicine in the world. In 2009 CISTI announced that document delivery services would be provided in partnership with Infotrieve Canada.

Interlibrary loan and document delivery is governed by Canadian Copyright Law Copyright Act (R.S., 1985, c. C–42) – http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/C-42/index.html which includes Exceptions for Educational Institutions, Libraries, Archives and Museums Regulations (SOR/99–325). The library, as a lender, is responsible for copyright tracking. At the present time, libraries cannot issue a digital copy of a printed article to a library user (Tiessen, 2007).

In our informal study of international interlibrary loan practices in Canada, responses were received from two libraries. The first set of questions dealt with borrowing requests. In both cases, the libraries reported that they do borrow internationally and that neither places restrictions on countries from which they will try to borrow. There may, however, be restrictions placed on format types requested and include media, electronic resources and current publications. Attempts will be made to fill requests domestically before looking abroad.

In the second set of questions, respondents were asked about lending procedures. Again, both libraries lend internationally and have no restrictions on countries to which they will lend. There are restrictions on what will be lent, often based on format type or publication date, but sometimes it’s a local call on whether the material will be lent or not.

In the third set of questions, libraries were asked to indicate what technologies were used for both borrowing and lending requests. Responses included: fax, phone, email, surface or air mail. Computer-based technologies used included: OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing, ILLiad, Relais, Ariel, Adobe Acrobat, and RACER VDX. One library indicated they belonged to a regional or national consortium.

Finally, respondents were asked to look ahead to the future of ILL in their own country. Both saw a decrease in interlibrary loan based on increasing availability of resources in electronic media formats and as a result of the changing needs of patrons and tightening budgets.

Web resources

AMICUS – http://amicus.collectionscanada.gc.ca/aaweb/aalogine.htm

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec – http://www.banq.qc.ca/accueil/index.html

Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) – http://cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/ibp/cisti/index.html

Canadian Library Gateway – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/gateway/index-e.html

Canadian Supreme Court 2004 Copyright Judgment – http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/2004/2004scc13/2004scc13.html

Library and Archives Canada – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/

National Guidelines for Document Delivery – http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/200/301/lac-bac/national_guidelines-ef/9/5/index-e.html

Symbols and Interlibrary Loan Policies in Canada – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/illcandirbin/illsear/l=0/c=1

Theses Canada – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/thesescanada/index-e.html

Transborder Interlibrary Loan: Shipping Interlibrary Loan Materials from the U.S. to Canada – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/8/3/r3-649-e.html

Further reading

Flake, Donna, Poznaka, Velta. An Innovative Interlibrary Loan Program Linking Eastern Europe’s Latvia with US and Canadian Medical Libraries. Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserves. 2007; 17(3):9–14.

Kelsall, Paula, Onyszko, Elizabeth. Interlibrary Loan Services at Library and Archives Canada. Interlending & Document Supply. 2010; 38(1):17–21.

Lemos, Antonio Agenor Briquet de. Descriptions of Interlibrary Lending in Various Countries and a Bibliography of Interlibrary Lending, 1980. [Boston Spa: British Library Lending Division [for the] IFLA Office for International Lending].

Lunau, Carol, Canadian Resource Sharing at the Close of the 20th Century. National Library News. 1999. http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/202/301/nlnews/nlnews-h/1999/nov99e/3111-18e.htm

Tiessen, Robert. Copyright’s Effect on Interlibrary Loan in Canada and the United States. Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Information Supply. 2007; 18(1):101–111.

China

Although libraries have existed in China for centuries, interlibrary lending service is a relatively new development. During the 1950s, the beginnings of a national resource sharing program started with a mandate from the government to compile a national union catalog and national union list. However, ‘actual interlibrary lending was very limited due to a lack of automated management and control systems’ (Zou and Dong, 2010) and came to a standstill during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). In the 1980s, the Beijing National Library returned to the task of creating a union catalog but it was not until the 1990s, with the introduction of networked computer systems, that a true ILL service came into existence. In 1999, 122 libraries signed the first National Interlibrary Loan Code. Although there has been tremendous growth in cooperative library services during the past 20 years, a number of challenges remain. As China continues to build its technological infrastructure, and develop policies and procedures for sharing resources regionally, only a few very large libraries engage in international ILL at this time. The 1990 national copyright law was amended and consolidated in 2010.

Given its geographic size and population, it should not be a surprise that several different models for interlibrary loan and document delivery services exist. The National Library of China (NLC) and other public library systems follow a somewhat centralized pattern, with international ILL and document delivery handled by the NLC. China Academic Library and Information System (CALIS) and China Academic Humanities and Social Science Library (CASHL), two large academic library systems, rely on a gateway model with national, regional and local centers that act as hubs through which services are provided. Academic, public and special library consortia also exist throughout China and each has its own web platform where members share a union catalog, databases and ILL services. The Medical Library Association of Chinese Universities and Colleges and the National Science and Technology Library (NSTL) are two examples of special library consortia sharing resources through a unified portal.

In 1986 OCLC expanded its cataloging capabilities to support Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) scripts (Ferguson 2009) and in 2008 OCLC began loading NLC cataloging records into WorldCat. The visibility of these records, along with the economic and political importance of the region, has increased both interest and access in borrowing and lending across national borders. In February, 2009, the NLC signed an agreement with IFLA. Several libraries in China actively participated in the Million Book Project, whose aim was to scan and digitize one million out-of-copyright books held in libraries in China, India, and the United States.

In an informal study of international interlibrary loan practices in China, one response was received. In the area of international borrowing, there are no restrictions placed on the type or location of material requested. The responder indicated that it generally takes approximately two months for an international ILL borrowing request to be completed. In the case of lending, the library will lend books and articles only. There are no restrictions on where materials will be sent and it generally takes about two months for a lending transaction to be completed. Technologies used to transmit requests included fax, phone, email, and surface or air mail. OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing and Adobe Acrobat were also specified. In response to the question about the future of resource sharing, it was felt that book loans were increasing in number but that photocopy service was decreasing, perhaps due to the changing ways that patrons are able to get copies of articles through database subscriptions and open access.

Web resources

China Academic Library & Information System (CALIS) – union catalog of Chinese university libraries – http://opac.calis.edu.cn/simpleSearch.do (English interface).

China/Asia OnDemand – commercial document supplier – http://open.oriprobe.com/index.htm (English interface).

China Copyright Law 2010 – http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=6062 (English interface).

China-US Million Book Digital Library Project (CADAL) – http://www.cadal.zju.edu.cn/IndexEng.action#(English interface).

Chinese Source – commercial document supplier – http://www.thechinesesource.com/ (English interface).

National Library of China/National Digital Library of China – http://www.nlc.gov.cn/en/index.htm (English interface).

National Library of China/National Digital Library of China/For Librarians – http://www.nlc.gov.cn/en/yjfw/index.htm (English interface).

Shanghai Library Document Supply Service – http://eservice.digilib.sh.cn/ewxtg/index.asp (English interface).

Further reading

Dong, Xiaofen, Elaine, Jiping Zou, Tim, Library Consortia in China. Libres. March 2009;19(1). http://libres.curtin.edu.au/libres19n1/Dong_Essay_Op.pdf

Fang, Conghui. The History and Development of Interlibrary Loans and Document Supply in China. Interlending & Document Supply. 2007; 35(3):145–153.

Ferguson, Anthony W., Wang, Andrew. OCLC in the Asia Pacific Region. Journal of Library Administration. 2009; 49(6):591–598.

Jia, Ping. The Development of Document Supply Services in China. Interlending & Document Supply. 2010; 38(3):152–157.

Zou, Jiping, Tim, Xiaofen Dong, Elaine, In Search of a New Model: Library Resource Sharing in China – A Comparative Study. Presented at the World Library and Information Congress: 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council, 19–23 August 2007 Durban, South Africa. http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla73/papers/096-Zou_Dong-en.pdf

Egypt

Interlibrary loan does not appear to be a widely used service in Egypt. In fact, the following notice is found on the interlibrary loan web page of the new Biblioteca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt, which opened in 2002:

Historically, public libraries in Egypt have not made widespread use of document delivery services nor have they participated in Interlibrary Loan systems. Because these have become such an important adjunct to collection services in libraries in other parts of the world, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is attempting to establish such services for the benefit of its patrons and to enhance Egyptian research and scholarship. (http://www.bibalex.org/libraries/presentation/static/11320.aspx)

However, some resource sharing activity does exist in Egypt. The American University in Cairo is listed as an OCLC supplier for non-returnables. Also, ENSTINET (Egyptian National Scientific and Technical Information Network) provides document delivery for the Egyptian community.

The Egyptian Libraries Network (ELN), launched in 1998, links automated Egyptian libraries via the Internet. The network allows libraries’ catalogs to be searched in Arabic and in English. It also establishes links with the non-Egyptian libraries in Egypt. One of ELN’s objectives is to facilitate interlibrary loan and cooperative cataloging between different libraries. The ELN website can be found at: http://www.egyptlib.net.eg/Site/LibraryService/AboutUs_E.aspx)/

A link to Egyptian copyright laws can be found on the UNESCO Collection of National Copyright Laws website at: http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=4076&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

In a very informal study of international interlibrary loan practices in Egypt, a response was received from one library. The first set of questions dealt with borrowing requests. The library reported that it does borrow internationally and does not place restrictions on countries from which it will try to borrow. Further, it has no restrictions on what format types will be requested and include media, electronic resources and current publications. Also, it places no borrowing restrictions on patron type.

In the second set of questions, the respondent was asked about lending procedures. Again, this library lends internationally and has no restrictions on countries to which it will lend. It primarily lends books and articles. There are restrictions on what will be lent, often based on format type or publication date.

In the third set of questions, libraries were asked to indicate what technologies were used for both borrowing and lending requests. This library uses fax, phone, email, and computer-based technologies. These technologies include OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing, ILLiad, and Ariel.

This library belongs to a regional or country-wide consortium. It does not have direct document delivery agreements with local libraries.

Finally, the respondent was asked to look ahead to the future of ILL in their own country. This librarian foresees an increase in interlibrary loan as Egyptian universities begin to participate more actively in ILL.

Web resources

Biblioteca Alexandrina – http://www.bibalex.org/

Egyptian Libraries Network – http://www.egyptlib.net.eg/Site/Home.aspx

Egyptian National Agricultural Library – http://nile.enal.sci.eg/

Former Soviet Union

Interlibrary loan in Imperial Russia dates back to 1725 when the National Academy of Sciences began loaning their materials. In 1918, after the revolution, the Soviet government issued decrees describing how to conduct interlibrary loan.

Decrees to simplify the interlibrary loan process were issued in 1955. These decrees established standardized interlibrary loan forms. Users could request hardcopy items or copies of items on microfilm. Libraries would circulate items via interlibrary loan only if they held multiple copies of an item. Interlibrary loan was based on the ‘territorial principal’ where holdings were searched at nearby libraries first and then requests were sent further afield if items were not held in the general region. At the national level requests went through the Russian State Library (RSL). Interlibrary loan within Soviet states was well organized and efficient and served a network of 115,000 libraries.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 the library system and the nationwide interlibrary loan system developed by the RSL also fell apart. In the mid-1990s, ILL struggled to survive in Russia. At times, financial shortages and budget deficits prevented the RSL from sending interlibrary loan-requested items by mail to other libraries. The RSL also experienced delays in sending back materials borrowed from foreign libraries (Erokina, 2010). After the collapse, many of the Former Soviet Union republics were unwilling to use the RSL (Cornish and Prosekova, 1996) and republics were left to their own devices to establish individual interlibrary loan programs, with mixed results.

Interlibrary loan and document delivery is recovering in the region, both at the RSL and among the libraries in the alliance of former Soviet Socialist Republics known as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). CIS libraries have recently established interlibrary loan procedures and policies for cooperative resource sharing.

International interlibrary loan in the region is fairly recent as is electronic document delivery (EDD).

Links to copyright laws for these countries can be found on the UNESCO Collection of Copyright Laws website at: http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=14076&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

In a very informal survey of international interlibrary loan practices in the Former Soviet Republic countries we received one response from Belarus. The National Library of Belarus cooperates on international interlibrary loan with 50 libraries in 16 countries around the world. These are mostly European libraries (Russia, Poland, Germany, Baltic States), but they also have connections with the libraries of the United States, Israel, etc. In addition, EDD is provided to individual users from different countries around the world.

Web resources

Links to National Libraries and Archives located in the countries of the former Soviet Union can be found at: http://shareill.org/index.php?title=National_libraries_and_archives#E

Further reading

Cornish, Graham P., Prosekova, Svetlana. Document Supply and Access in Times of Turmoil: Recent Problems in Russia and Eastern Europe. Interlending & Document Supply. 1996; 24(1):5–11.

Dzurak, Ewa, Kasprzyk, Agnieszka. Metamorphosis of Academic Libraries in Post-Communist Poland: Focusing on Access. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 2010; 36(4):354–358.

Erokina, Nadezhda. The Russian State Library: Russia’s National Centre for Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery. Interlending & Document Supply. 2010; 38(1):37–39.

Fallup, Mariana. National and International Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery in the Central University Library of Cluj. Philobiblon. 2008; 13:515–523.

Flake, Donna, Poznaka, Velta. An Innovative Interlibrary Loan Program Linking Eastern Europe’s Latvia with US and Canadian Medical Libraries. Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserves. 2007; 17(3):9–14.

Jackson, Mary. Meeting the Challenges of International Lending and Document Supply: Learning from the Global Resources Program. Interlending & Document Supply. 2000; 28(2):79–85.

Kingma, R., Mouravieva, Natalia. The Economics of Access versus Ownership: The Library for Natural Science. Russian Academy of Sciences,’ Interlending & Document Supply. 2000; 28(1):20–26.

Mocnik, Vida. Interlending Among the States of Former Yugoslavia. Interlending & Document Supply. 2001; 29(3):100–107.

Petrusenko, T.V., T.M. Zharova and L.D. Startseva. ‘Ill Service at National Library of Russia: Capabilities Prompted by New Technologies’. In Libraries and Associations in the Changing World: New Technologies and New Forms of Collaboration: Conference Proceedings. The Anniversary International Conference Crimea 98, Sudak, Ukraine, p. 560 (in Russian with English abstract).

Van Borm, J. To Russia with Love. Copeter: A European Union project in St. Petersburg for Library Co-operation in General, ILDS in Particular. Interlending & Document Supply. 2004; 32(3):159–163.

Israel

Resource sharing in Israel follows a somewhat centralized model. For many years only the seven large universities – and a few medical research libraries – shared library materials via interlibrary loan. However, the number of smaller colleges in Israel has increased dramatically in the last 25 years (Porat and Shoham, 2004). Many of these colleges have their own small libraries. However, they rely increasingly on the collections of the original large university libraries via ILL. As most of these smaller college focus on the arts and humanities, the majority of the materials exchanged via ILL is for social sciences, arts, and humanities content. As Porat and Shoham (2004) point out, ‘This development has caused a huge increase in the overall ILL traffic in Israel.’

Israel does conduct some international interlibrary loan, but not on a large scale. This may be due to national copyright law in Israel, which has an intricate and litigious history (Rabina, 2001). At one point this law required public libraries to pay royalties to authors when loaning out materials to the public.

In a very informal study of international interlibrary loan practices in Israel, one response was received. The first set of questions dealt with borrowing requests. The library reported that it does borrow internationally but usually book format material. It does not place restrictions on countries from whom it tries to borrow. Most of its international borrowing requests are sent after searching WorldCat, and by sending an email request.

In the second set of questions, the respondent was asked about lending procedures. Again, this library indicated that it has no restrictions on countries to which it will lend. There are no restrictions on what will be lent, but most often the requests are for book material. Most often its lending requests are received via email, after the borrower has performed a WorldCat search.

In the third set of questions, the library was asked to indicate what technologies were used for both borrowing and lending requests. Again, WorldCat and email dominated this library’s operations, but it did say that it was interested in joining ‘ISO ILL.’ The library indicated there were other libraries in Israel that conducted international resource sharing activities. This library is not a member of a group or consortium.

When asked to look ahead to the future of ILL in their own country, the respondent felt that it would only increase, particularly as they and other Israeli libraries increased electronic forms of requesting such as ISO ILL.

Web resources

Israeli Copyright Law – http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=29579&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTI0N=201.html

Israeli Library Network – http://libnet.ac.il/~libnet/malmad-israelnet.htm

Jewish National and University Library http://jnul.huj.ac.il/eng/

Malmad http://malmad.iucc.ac.il/ Israeli Union List of Serials – http://libnet.ac.il/~libnet/uls

Further reading

Porat, Lynne, Shoham, Snunith. Israeli College Interlibrary Loan Practices: Implications for Israeli Universities. Interlending & Document Supply. 2004; 32(4):219–226.

Rabina, Debbie L., Copyright Protection in Israel: A Reality of Being “pushed into the Corner available at. Information Research. 2001;6(4). http://InformationR.net/ir/6–4/paper110.html

Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean comprise a substantial geographic and diverse area. Two overviews of interlibrary loan in the region include Elda-Monica Guerrero’s ‘Interlibrary Loan in Latin America: Policies and Practices’ (Guerrero 1995) and Graham P. Cornish’s ‘Brief Communication: Document Supply in Latin America – Report of a Seminar’ (Cornish, 2001). According to Cornish’s report the three countries in the region with the most developed interlibrary loan systems included Chile, Brazil and Mexico (Olszewski, 2009: 613).

As of 2008, 27 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean belonged to OCLC (Olszewski, 2009: 613). In 1999 Bermuda became the first country in the region to use the OCLC interlibrary loan system and in 2000, the Colegio de México began using OCLC interlibrary loan. These OCLC interlibrary loan participants were joined by the Mexican Univesidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) in 2003, the Brazilian Institute for Science and Technical Information (IBICT) in 2004, and the Biblioteca Acadêmico Luiz Viana Filho of the Brazilian Senate in 2005. Currently, of the nearly 1,300 member libraries from this region identified in the OCLC policies directory only 33 self-describe as being OCLC interlibrary loan suppliers. Twenty-eight of these institutions are in Mexico.

The Iberoamerican cooperative association Asociación de Estados Iberoamericanos para el Desarrollo de las Bibliotecas Nacionales de Iberoamerica (Association of Iberoamerican Countries for the Development of National Libraries (ABINIA)) is an intergovernmental organization for the development of national libraries in the region (Matos, 2004). Further, several national consortiums and union catalogs exist including Base de Datos Unificada (BDU/Argentina), Alerta a Conocimiento (Chile), Biblioteca Eletectrónica de Ciencia y Tecnolgía de la República Argentina (BE – MINCTY/Argentina), Programa Brasileiro de Acesso à Informaçâo Cientfíce Tecnológica: Portal de Periodicos (CAPES/Brazil), Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superior de Monterrey (ITESM), Biblioteca Digital (Mexico), and Trama Interinstucional y Multidiscipliaria de Bibliografia On-Line (TIMBÓ/Uruguay).

Two interlibrary loan transnational initiatives between Mexico and the United States of note are Grupo Amigos and the Transborder Library Forum. The Grupo Amigos was formed in 1989 as a group of 13 Mexican libraries and 28 U.S. libraries to provide books and documents. The FORO Transfronterizo de Bibliotecas/Transborder Library Forum program that provided documents (Guerrero et al., 2003) currently acts as a volunteer organization that cultivates a space and organizes an annual conference for the discussion of mutual concerns.

Interlibrary loan and document delivery is governed by copyright law in each individual country. For links to each country’s copyright laws see the UNECSO ‘Collection of Copyright Laws’ website at:http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=14076&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Web resources

Biblioteca National de Mexico – http://bnm.unam.mx/

Colegio de Mexico http://biblioteca.colmex.mx/

Digital Library of the Caribbean – http://dloc.com/

Latin America Network Information Center (LANIC) – http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/region/library/

Libraries of Mexican, Central and South America, and the Caribbean – http://lists.webjunction.org/libweb/CSA_main.html

Further reading

Cornish, Graham P. Brief Communication: Document Supply in Latin American – Report of a Seminar. Interlending & Document Supply. 2001; 29(3):126–128.

Guerrero, Elda-Monia. Interlibrary Loan in Latin America: Policies and Practices. Interlending & Document Supply. 1995; 23(3):13–17.

Guerrero, Elda-Monia, Mattes, Daniel. Interlibrary Loan in Mexico: Two Solutions to an Age-Old Problem. Interlending & Document Supply. 2003; 31(1):12–14.

Massis, Bruce Edward, Models of Cooperation in U.S Ed. Latin American and Caribbean Libraries. 2003. [München: Saur].

Matos, Eliades Acosta. National Libraries in Iberoamerica: from Challenge to Commitment. IFLA Journal. 2004; 30(2):129–133.

Olszewski, Lawrence. OCLC in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Chronology. Journal of Library Administration. 2009; 49:613–620.

Taitt, Glenroy. Co-Operation among Caribbean Theological Libraries: A Case Study. Libri. 2005; 55:148–153.

Zimmermann, Peruchena, Ana Maria. Libraries in Argentina: An Overview. IFLA Journal. 2004; 30(2):108–128.

Netherlands

In 1986, according to Arie Willemson, union catalogs were the primary tool for interlending in The Netherlands. The main union catalogs were maintained by the Royal Library in The Hague, the Technical University at Delft, and the Library of the Agricultural University at Wageningen. Increasingly, the arrival of automated systems such as VDX, SUBITO, IILS, EUCAT/PICA, and WinIBW have fostered increased resource sharing over the years, to the point that interlending is a commonplace occurrence and most often initiated from the patron’s home library catalog.

A summary of the request process is as follows:

At present library users can reserve and request many items and, depending upon the organization of their library, place requests for titles that are available either in the collection of their library or in the collection of another library sharing the same library automation system. In addition, ILL requests can also be placed in the NCC-ILL system (the national catalog) by patrons who hold an account. Non-account holders or patrons that either use the NCC-ILL service less frequently or have little experience of the system are also able to place requests in the NCC-ILL with the assistance of library staff. These ILL requests are in turn dealt with by large public libraries, academic and university libraries and the Royal Library. Reservation and requesting of titles, either at a patrons’ own library or a library using the same system, is commonplace in The Netherlands. It is estimated that somewhere between 500,000 and one million items are delivered annually using this service … When a title is located in the catalog of the local library the patron is given the option to reserve or request the item in the onine catalog. A very small percentage is requested through ‘real’ ILL. (Braun et al., 2006: 152)

Dutch libraries seem very willing to borrow and lend internationally. In our informal study of international interlibrary loan practices in The Netherlands, a response was received from one library. The first set of questions dealt with borrowing requests. The respondent reported that the library does borrow internationally and does not place restrictions on countries from which it will try to borrow, nor format of materials borrowed, nor patron status.

In the second set of questions, respondents were asked about lending procedures. This library does lend internationally and has no restrictions on countries to which it will lend. The main restriction is that it will not lend internationally unless the borrower can pay by IFLA voucher – the currency conversion, payment delay, and even non-payment of some invoices were issues for this library.

In the third set of questions, libraries were asked to indicate what technologies were used for both borrowing and lending requests. Systems used vary widely and depend on the system of the owning library, such as: fax, email, air/surface mail, and computer based technologies such as OCLC WorldCat, SUBITO, WinIBW, the Australian National Catalog. This library did not belong to a consortium and was unsure whether other Dutch libraries had the same policy regarding payment only by IFLA voucher.

Finally, respondents were asked to look ahead to the future of ILL in their own country. This respondent saw it decreasing feeling that historical interlibrary loan and document delivery statistics indicate that resource sharing is on the decline, and Internet resources such as open access journals, Google Scholar, and/or institutional repositories will offer patrons faster and less mediated services.

Web resources

European Commission Libraries Catalog http://ec.europa.eu/eclas/F

European Library – http://search.theeuropeanlibrary.org/portal/en/index.html

National Library of the Netherlands – http://www.kb.nl/index-en.html

University of Leiden Libraries – http://www.library.leiden.edu/

Further reading

Braun, Paula, Hornig, Leo, Visse, Friso. A New Approach Towards a National Inter-Library Loan System in The Netherlands: Introducing VDX. Interlending and Document Supply. 2006; 34(4):152–159.

Gatenby, J. Inter-Library Loans and Document Delivery Via EUCAT: A New PICA/OCLC Initiative. Interlending & Document Supply. 2003; 31:123–129.

Willemsen, Arie Wolter. The On-Line System of Union Catalogues and Interlibrary Loan in the Netherlands. Interlending & Document Supply. 1986; 14:10–14.

New Caledonia

New Caledonia, along with other island nations in the South Pacific, presents an interesting picture of development of interlibrary loan, document delivery and cooperative resource sharing services. The region consists of more than 58 countries on 7,500 separate islands, spread across more than 11 million square miles of ocean. Diversity in language, culture, history, and religion as well as distinctive historical, political and economic development characterizes the area.

More than 2,000 miles east of Australia, New Caledonia is a self-governing territory of France. The oldest library in the South Pacific, the Bibliothèque Bernheim, opened in 1905 in Nouméa. The capital city is also the site of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) library. A number of specialized collections are held throughout the region; however sharing those resources has long presented a unique set of challenges. With inadequate funding, support, and training, the development of centralized or national library systems, union catalogs and union lists of serials has been slow. Both before and since the expansion of Internet connectivity to the region, a strong system of professional networks and personal contacts has been instrumental in working to overcome barriers to resource sharing. Strengthening regional cooperation among countries remains a priority, often in the face of inadequate government support.

The International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC) is a specialized consortia comprised of more than 300 members around the world and includes a Pacific Island region. Through its Z39.50 Distributed Library and Interlibrary Loan program, more than 25 countries in the group offer materials to other member libraries via interlibrary loan and document delivery. The unified search interface also allows members to search an online Union List of Marine and Aquatic Serials. Although subject-specific, the professional network and Z39.50-catalog interface that is integral to the program extends information and knowledge access to member nations that otherwise may not have the resources to participate.

Given the vast geographic distances in the region, borrowing and lending of physical items is slow. Even electronic document delivery presents challenges based on time zone differences, especially to North America. As a result, the majority of resource sharing occurs within the region rather than around the globe. Some libraries in the region participate in OCLC and use both Ariel and email for communication and transmission of documents; others use fax and air mail.

In our informal study, we received one response from a librarian in New Caledonia. In answer to questions about interlibrary loan practices, the library places no restrictions on borrowing requests, although material requested is only for staff and physical items must be used in the library. Materials are lent only within its own library system and branches. Because of geographic location, the library tends to borrow primarily from Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, and less frequently, from France and Guam. As a member of IAMSLIC, journal articles are also requested through the consortia. The librarian indicated that borrowing returnables from North American libraries is both inconvenient and cost prohibitive. The most common method of communication and transmission of materials is email. Looking to the future, an increase in interlibrary loan was foreseen as more of the regional organizations become more collaborative.

Web resources

Bibliothèque Bernheim – http://www.bernheim.nc/

IAMSLIC Z39.50 Distributed Library – http://library.csumb.edu/iamslic/ill/search.php

Libraries of the Asia Pacific Directory http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/lapsdir?action=LapsBrowse

Pacific Islands Association of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (PIALA) – http://sites.google.com/site/pialaorg/home

Pacific Islands Marine Resources Information System (PIMRIS) http://www.usp.ac.fj/index.php?id=pimris

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Koha catalog http://opac.spc.int/cgi-bin/koha/opac-search.pl External catalogs http://www.spc.int/en/support-services/library/external-library-catalogues.html

Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie http://portail-documentaire.univ-nc.nc/medias/medias.aspx? INSTANCE = EXPLOITATION

Further reading

Butler, Barbara, Webster, Janet, Watkins, Steven G., Markham, James W. Resource Sharing within an International Library Network: Using Technology and Professional Cooperation to Bridge the Waters. IFLA Journal. 2006; 32(3):189–199.

Cohen, Arlene. Sharing the Wealth-Resource Sharing Developments in the Pacific Making for a Resource Richer Region. Interlending & Document Supply. 2002; 30(3):107–111.

Stone, Beth. Interlibrary Loan Traffic in the South West Pacific and South East Asia. Interlending & Document Supply. 1989; 17(2):42–45.

Williams, E.W. ILDS in the South Pacific: Challenges in the 90s. Resource Sharing and Information Networks. 1992; 17(2):45–74.

Singapore

Interlibrary loan and document delivery in this island nation is distributed, with a rapidly developing information technology infrastructure. In the Asia Pacific region, characterized by immense diversity of geography, people and languages, there is a history of cooperation and resource sharing, particularly with Malaysia and Australia. There is also great disparity in geographic distances, postcolonial development and wealth. Singapore is one the most developed areas in the region and is a leader in library innovation.

The National Library Board (NLB) oversees the National Library of Singapore and the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, as well as the nation’s public libraries, which include three regional libraries, 19 public libraries and one community children’s library. There are also a number of private academic and special libraries that are individually managed and operated. The National Library and Nanyang Technological University participate in the IFLA voucher scheme.

In 2000, OCLC signed a cooperative agreement with Singapore Integrated Library Automation Services (SILAS), which loaded the national union catalog records into WorldCat (Ferguson et al., 2009). Several database vendors familiar to European and North American librarians, such as EBSCO and ProQuest, have service offices in Singapore.

Interlibrary loan and document delivery is governed by the Copyright Act of 1987.

An informal study of international ILL practices in Singapore elicited one response. The responding library both borrows and lends internationally, but on a small scale. There are some borrowing restrictions placed on ILL – only faculty, non-academic staff and postgraduate students may request international borrowing of books. Borrowing requests by undergraduates are handled on a case-by-case basis. International document delivery requests are made without restriction. The library will lend internationally, depending on the item requested, and there is a designated budget line for local and international loans.

Email is primarily used for borrowing and lending communication and transmission. When asked about the future of interlibrary loan, the respondent indicated a likely increase based on the inability of libraries to build collections at the same rate of growth as materials are published, despite continuing questions and concerns about copyright and how electronic resources can be used.

Web resources

China/Asia OnDemand – http://open.oriprobe.com/

Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians – http://www.consal.org/

Digital South Asia Library – http://dsal.uchicago.edu/

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Library/Library Catalogs of the Region – http://www.iseas.edu.sg/weblinks/catalogue.html

Nanyang Technological University Library – http://www.ntu.edu.sg/library/Pages/default.aspx

National Archives of Singapore http://www.nhb.gov.sg/nas/index.htm

National Library of Singapore Catalog – http://catalogue.nlb.gov.sg/

Document Delivery Service – http://rds.nlb.gov.sg/PublicDDSForm.aspx

SAFTI Military Library – http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/mindef_websites/atozlistings/saftimi/units/saftilibrary/index.html

Singapore Copyright Act of 1987 – http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/

Singapore Management University Library – http://library.smu.edu.sg/

Further reading

Chellapandi, Sharmini, Chow Wun, Han, Tay Chiew, Boon. The National Library of Singapore Experience: Harnessing Technology to Deliver Content and Broaden Access. Interlending & Document Supply. 2010; 38(1):40–48.

Ferguson, Anthony, Wang, Andrew. OCLC in the Asia Pacific Region. Journal of Library Administration. 2009; 49(6):591–598.

Stone, Beth. Interlibrary Loan Traffic in the South West Pacific and South East Asia. Interlending & Document Supply. 1989; 17(2):42–45.

Wijasuriya, Dek, Kadir Bacha, Abdullah. Interlibrary Lending: A South-East Asian Perspective. Interlending & Document Supply. 1981; 9(2):44–49.

Sweden

The document supply operations of a Swedish library normally involve internal requests (i.e. requests from patrons for items held locally) as well as interlibrary loans (i.e. requests sent between libraries on behalf of patrons). In Sweden, academic libraries place most of their interlibrary borrowing requests through LIBRIS, the interlibrary loan module of the national union catalog hosted by the Swedish Royal Library. The libraries manage their interlibrary loan operations via this system, sometimes supplemented with other document supply management systems such as SAGA, FFB, and the interlibrary loan modules that come with local library systems. In 1997 the University Library of Karolinska Institutet (KIB) – a Swedish medical library – designed and implemented the SAGA system which has also been put into operation at other academic libraries in Sweden (Gavel and Hedlund, 2008).

Sweden seems to follow a modified, centralized form of resource sharing. The LIBRIS system dominates domestic borrowing and lending, supplemented by smaller systems tied to library software and/or locally customized arrangements such as SAGA.

While Swedish and Nordic Libraries are encouraged to submit requests via the LIBRIS system, most international requests can be submitted via webform at a library’s website (such as at Linnaeus University’s site http://lnu.se/th-university-library/borrowing/interlibrary-loan-/external-customers?l=en) or via email using IFLA guidelines. All requests for Swedish-published materials should be sent to the University of Lund. Requests for material published elsewhere may be sent directly to the owning library.

In a very informal study of international interlibrary loan practices in Sweden, a response was received from one library. The first set of questions dealt with borrowing requests. The library reported that it does borrow internationally and that it does not place restrictions on countries from which it will try to borrow, though it preferred libraries that use similar software. There may, however, be restrictions on what format types will be requested depending on the patron’s status – articles for anyone, but books only for faculty and staff. Most loan requests are submitted electronically, loaned to the patron for four weeks, and returned via regular mail. Article requests are generally received by fax or email and delivered to the patron within a day or two.

In the second set of questions, respondents were asked about lending procedures. This library lent internationally and had no restrictions on countries to which it will lend, or kinds of materials lent. The University of Lund is the gatekeeper for all Swedish-published materials.

In the third set of questions, libraries were asked to indicate what technologies were used for both borrowing and lending requests. The responses included: email, and computer based-technologies such as the British Library, SUBITO (German libraries in cooperation), online union catalogs in the Scandinavian countries with online ordering, DOCLINE (4,000 libraries mainly in the U.S. and Canada), CISTI/Infotrieve (less used). Also, respondents reported that while international resource sharing practices vary among Swedish libraries most often they will first request from the country of publication.

Finally, respondents were asked to look ahead to the future of ILL in their own country. This library foresaw a decrease in lending of electronic articles (although it did not elaborate why), and an increase in university materials loaned to public libraries as more patrons become life-long learners.

Web resources

Directory of Libraries in Sweden – http://lists.webjunction.org/libweb/Sweden.html

National Library of Sweden (LIBRIS) http://www.kb.se/english/

Nordic Libraries Very Interested in Sharing – http://inet.dpb.dpu.dk/nvbf/norfri_delt.htm

Further reading

Gavel, Ylva, Lars, O.A. Hedlund. Managing Document Supply: A SAGA Come True in Sweden. Interlending & Document Supply. 2008; 36(1):30–36.

United Kingdom

For many years, interlibrary loan and document delivery in the UK followed a centralized model, revolving around the British Library (BL). The British Library, http://www.bl.uk/, is a world-class national library containing ‘14 million books, 920,000 journal and newspaper titles, 58 million patents, 3 million sound recordings, and so much more’ according to their website. Another service they offer is EThOS, a digital repository for British dissertations. Most higher education institutions in Britain turn to the BL first when needing to access materials they do not own. It is only when the BL does not hold what is needed that libraries turn to secondary – and occasionally international – sources. However, one of our survey respondents indicated that many British public libraries lend significantly among themselves without the ‘broker’ services of the British Library, as they are often members of local consortia or municipal groups.

The BL has also recently published a document called ‘2020 vision,’ which outlines its view of the future trends, found here: http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/2020vision/.

Interlibrary loan and document delivery is governed by British Copyright Law, which may require additional copyright forms to be signed by users of material.

In a very informal study of international interlibrary loan practices in the UK, responses were received from three libraries. The first set of questions dealt with borrowing requests. In all cases, the libraries reported that they do borrow internationally and that they do not place restrictions on countries from which they will try to borrow. There are also no restrictions on what format types will be requested. The only restrictions mentioned were those licenses governing the use of econtent. Attempts will be made to fill requests from within the UK before looking internationally.

In the second set of questions, respondents were asked about lending procedures. All three libraries lend internationally. They have no restrictions on countries to which they will lend although there may be restrictions on what kind of material can be lent depending on material condition and local use needs.

In the third set of questions, libraries were asked to indicate what technologies were used for both borrowing and lending requests. Responses included: fax, phone, email, surface or air mail. Computer-based technologies used included: OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing, BLDSC (British Library), Ex Libris Voyager LMS with an ILL Ex Libris Voyager ILL customization. One library indicated they belonged to one or more regional or national consortia.

Finally, respondents were asked to look ahead to the future of ILL in their own country. All three have seen a recent increase in requests, reversing a slow ten-year downward trend, and expect this trend to continue. Most attributed this increase to smaller materials budget for purchasing, the increase in online eresources, and increased visibility of materials due to meta-discovery tools.

Web resources

British Library – http://www.bl.uk/

EThOS Electronic Theses and Dissertations – http://ethos.bl.uk/

Conarls – http://combinedregions.com/Conarls

COPAC/National, Academic, & Specialist Library Catalogue - http://copac.ac.uk/

Directory of Open Access Repositories/OpenDOAR – http://www.opendoar.org/index.html

InforM25/M25 Consortium libraries http://www.inform25.ac.uk/

Isle of Man National Library and Archives – http://www.gov.im/mnh/heritage/library/nationallibrary.xml

National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum – http://www.vam.ac.uk/nal/index.html

National Library of Ireland http://www.nli.ie/en/homepage.aspx

National Library of Scotland http://www.nls.uk/

National Library of Wales – http://www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=2

Serials Union Catalogue for the UK – http://www.suncat.ac.uk/

SWERLS: South Western Regional Library Service – http://www.swrls.org.uk/

Talis Source http://www.talis.com/source/

UnityUK Members http://combinedregions.com/UnityUK_Members

Further reading

Street, Penelope. Centre Stage or Just a Supporting Role? International Interlending in the Twenty-First Century – A UK Perspective. Interlending & Document Supply. 2003; 31(4):246–252.

United States

Interlibrary loan and document delivery services in the United States are highly functioning, decentralized systems. Currently, an estimated 122,101 libraries of all sizes and types in the United States, including those that service public, academic, school, corporate, medical, law, religious, armed forces and government populations, participate in ILL activities of some sort. At 33 million volumes, the Library of Congress is the largest library based on number of volumes held, followed in size of collection by Harvard University and the Boston Public Library, and it is recognized as the national library for the U.S. There are also national libraries of medicine, agriculture, education and transportation, as well as a national archive, with several regional centers.

Libraries develop individual policies for borrowing, lending, shipment and payment, and these may vary widely depending on location, type of library, collection, administration and other factors. Local practices and procedures, however, are generally based on the 2001 revision of the American Library Association (ALA) Interlibrary Loan Code of the United States and the Interlibrary Loan Practices Handbook, now in its 3rd edition.

A print version of the National Union Catalog was published in two series: one covering post-1955 publications and the other pre-1956 imprints. Records created since 1986 are accessible through OCLC WorldCat. Likewise, the union list of serials published in the U.S. has gone through several iterations. First published in 1927, the National Union List of Serials is now a comprehensive database of bibliographic records for North American serials called CONSER. It is administered by the Library of Congress, with records loaded into OCLC WorldCat.

OCLC interlibrary loan and document delivery products and services are extensively, although not exclusively, used throughout the country. While many large libraries and systems use ILLiad to manage interlibrary loan requests, others – depending on size or mission – may use CLIO, Relais, DOCLINE, WorldCat Resource Sharing (WCRS) or a home-grown system that links to OCLC. For document delivery transmissions, libraries tend to use Odyssey, Ariel, Adobe Acrobat, VDX, DOCLINE, RapidILL and email, and more infrequently fax. Many libraries borrow and lend through different statewide or regional networks and consortia, some of which include internal courier or delivery services. The SHARES program, first established by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and now partnered with OCLC, provides access to local collections with materials to members of RLG Partnership institutions around the world.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material, with a limitation found in Section 108 of the Copyright Act by which the reproduction of a particular work, especially by libraries, may be considered fair use. A further exclusion for libraries is the first sale doctrine, which was codified in the Copyright Act of 1976, and allows for the transfer of lawfully made copies of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. It is the responsibility of the borrowing library to pay copyright and royalty fees associated with ILL.

A recent survey by the Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS) of the American Library Association (ALA) found great diversity in technologies, vendors, policies and practices amongst U.S. libraries. The survey also concluded that many of the same barriers to international ILL that have always existed continue to be issues. Costs of shipment, fear of loss or damage, language barriers, difficulty in locating items, lack of communication and technology interoperability all continue to hinder full resource sharing.

Librarians in the U.S. are divided as to the future of international ILL. Many see an increase in demand, based on improved discovery systems and delivery technology, such as WorldCat. As library acquisition budgets continue to decrease, there may be more pressure on ILL to provide access to materials that cannot be obtained locally. Unlike many other countries, the pattern over the past decade has been an increase. Others foresee a decrease in activity as more and more items are digitized and become free or available on a pay-per-view basis from any search interface. Restrictive licensing of electronic materials, especially ebooks, may also further weaken a library’s ability to borrow and lend and may, in turn, lead to a decrease in activity and access.

Web resources

American Library Association Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States – http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/rusa/resources/guidelines/interlibrary.cfm

Center for Research Libraries – http://www.crl.edu/

Library of Congress – http://www.loc.gov/index.html

Library of Congress Interlibrary Loan Services – http://www.loc.gov/rr/loan/

Gateway to Library Catalogs – http://www.loc.gov/z3950/

National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health http://www.nlm.nih.gov/portals/librarians.html

OCLC WorldCat http://www.worldcat.org/

List of Resource Sharing Groups http://www.oclc.org/resourcesharing/groups/default.htm

SHARES – http://www.oclc.org/research/activities/shares/default.htm

U.S. Copyright Office – http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Further reading

Atkins, David. Going Global: Examining Issues and Seeking Collaboration for International Interlending, the View from the US. Interlending & Document Supply. 2010; 38(2):72–75.

Baich, Tina, Jiping Zou, Tim, Weltin, Heather, Ye Yang, Zheng. Lending and Borrowing Across Borders: Issues and Challenges with International Resource Sharing. Reference & User Services Quarterly. 2009; 49(1):54–63.

Mak, Collette. Resource Sharing Among ARL Libraries in the US: 35 Years of Growth. Interlending & Document Supply. 2011; 39(1):26–31.