Thursday, January 24, 2008


Way back in September '06 I mentioned ILLiad as one possible software package we should consider using in interlibrary loan (ILL.) Well we just signed the agreement to begin using the software. Our goal is to implement it over the summer of '08. It took longer than I hoped but I think this is going to make a huge difference in how easy ILL will be for our users. It will also make ILL more efficient for the staff who work on ILL requests and thus get stuff to our users faster. Imagine this:
  • You find a citation to an article in one of our databases. It works for books too, by the way.
  • You use the "Find It" button to see if we have it in full text
  • The link resolver shows that we do not have it in fulltext and recommends you use ILL.
  • You click on the ILL link and the system asks you to login, you use your Rollins username and password and you're in.
  • ILLiad automatically finds your account based on that authentication and also fills in the citation information. You check to make sure everything is OK and press submit.
  • If you fit certain criteria the request will go straight to the lending library. The next thing you know an e-mail arrives in your inbox inviting you click on a link to get the article.
  • Behind the scenes the system is collecting all kinds of stats and helping the staff place requests and manage requests to borrow from other libraries.
  • If you get curious about what is going on with your outstanding requests (or even if you realize you need that green book you borrow on ILL last summer, but can't remember the title) you can login, view you record and track your outstanding and past requests.
I make it sound so easy, and it is for our users. But I want to acknowledge how much work this will be for our staff, particularly Shawne Keevan. Implementing ILLiad is going to be a huge job for her. I hope I am right in thinking that the pay off for our users will be just as huge.

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