Automation Report No. 00-01
Date: March 24, 2000
Subject: Interlibrary Loan
The interlibrary loan (ILL) facility will soon be available
on the network library home page of the World Wide Web
(WWW). NLS will make an announcement in a network bulletin
when it is ready for your use. The attached document
describes the facility and how to use it. Please read the
document and set the defaults for your library before you
start to use the system for making ILL requests.
This facility is intended as a replacement for the ILL
functions of NLSNET. One significant addition is that it
allows ILL requests to other libraries in the network, as
well as to the multistate centers (MSCs). Each library in
the network may choose to accept ILL requests through this
facility or not. If a library chooses to accept requests,
the facility will allow any user to request from that
library; however, libraries should continue to follow the
policy that subregional libraries request NLS materials from
their regional library and regional libraries request them
from their designated MSC. Locally produced books may be
requested directly from the owning libraries.
Along with the ability to send requests to network
libraries, the facility allows requests to be forwarded.
This feature is intended primarily for regional libraries to
pass subregional library requests they are unable to fulfill
to the MSCs. Libraries are able to edit or delete requests
until the receiving library takes the request. Libraries
may also maintain their ILL profiles that determine how they
work within the facility.
Libraries should be aware of one significant difference
between this facility and NLSNET. In NLSNET, requests were
entered into a database on the local computer and sent to
the receiving library (the MSC) in a batch at the user's
discretion. In this facility, each request is sent to the
network library home page server at the Library of Congress
when it is submitted. It is then transferred to the
receiving library at a time unknown to the requesting
library. For the requesting library, each ILL request is
considered on its own, unrelated to any other request.
There is no request session and no batch of requests for the
requesting library. Libraries that have used NLSNET for ILL
will need to adjust their expectations of this facility
according to that difference.
The document describes one function, the downloading of
request data, that is intended for use in printing mail
cards and otherwise processing requests. Currently, the
facility to print cards from these transactions is available
only in READS. That facility is limited to card printing.
It does not check the books out of the collection. It was
developed for the MSCs that do not control the general
collection through READS. NLS intends to develop a facility
within READS to check books out for ILL and to provide more
extensive ILL controls. NLS will work with the other
circulation systems for the blind to enable them to use the
current transaction format and future transaction formats
for extended ILL functions.
[Attachment: This bulletin contained an attachment that was
mailed to the network on March 24, 2000.]
For further information contact: