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How is your library's ILL?

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Divia
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How is your library's ILL?

Post by Divia » Wed June 9th, 2010, 10:34 pm

I ask because I just sent two requests out which were not within our county system. I received one book. Yay. Today I got a letter telling me no one would led me the other book. Booo!

If I request a book within our county system they are very good about getting me the titles. However, as I stated before their historical fiction section is lacking.

I was wondering how other people do with ILL. I know Misfit loves her library system. I'm a little annoyed. After first being told it wasn't possible to do, and now I got one out of the two books I requested...I dunno I'm feeling disheartened.
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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Wed June 9th, 2010, 10:47 pm

It makes me wonder how far out the request goes, if they said nobody would lend it. If it's a historical novel, I can't imagine nobody owns a circulating copy unless they did just a local search.

The ILL staff where I work (I'm at a university, slightly different) will get books from overseas for patrons if, say, the British Library is the only place that has a copy. That's an extreme case, but they get things from out of state all the time, and everywhere else I've worked did too.

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Julianne Douglas
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Post by Julianne Douglas » Wed June 9th, 2010, 10:49 pm

Our library system here in CA never fails to amaze me. Our local library is part of the Link+ system. Member libraries up and down the state share their holdings in one central database. You look for a book in your local library online catalog, and if your library doesn't own it, you click the Link+ key to see if any other member libraries have it. If they do, you simply request the book and the send it to your local library within 3-5 days, ALL AT NO COST. I don't know how they do it, with the state supposedly bankrupt. I've never had any trouble doing research; the network of libraries includes many university libraries, so it's easy to get scholarly works as well as popular literature.

The only hitch is that if the library participates in Link+, they usually no longer do regular ILLs. So if the network doesn't have what you're looking for, you're basically out of luck unless you can find a nonmember library to request it for you from out of state. Luckily, the library in the next town over still does ILL, so I request more obsolete things from them, for a price.

My local librarians laugh when they see me coming and immediately go to the Link+ shelf. Sometime I feel like I keep the service in business all by myself! I'm extremely grateful for the service though, and don't know what I'll do if/when they stop providing it.

Move to CA, Divia! The library system makes up for the congestion, traffic, crowding, bad schools ... ;)
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Wed June 9th, 2010, 11:04 pm

I did an ILL request once, and the book never became available.

I sympathize on the lack of HF. Our library is ridiculously good at NOT carrying the books I want to read.

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Wed June 9th, 2010, 11:16 pm

I've got ILL loans from sources out of state through our county library, but I've never succeeded in getting one where the book is not in the US. I once tried to get an article, but no luck, though I've heard people from other states say they've been able to get copies of articles through ILL.

Fortunately, I can get most of what I need at the UNC-Chapel Hill or Duke libraries, which allow community residents borrowing privileges for a reasonable fee.
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed June 9th, 2010, 11:27 pm

**stops to kiss the ground my library is built upon**

I have rarely been turned down for an ILL request, a couple of times they came back with they'd have to go outside the US (which they can't) or once they found a very rare book but the lending library wanted a fee and they always check first whether or not you want to pay it. I've requested some very obscure ones and they even find those - 100 year old editions of Dumas and libraries will let them go. I've had books come from Anchorage, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, a college in New Mexico and even a Benedictine Abbey in Oregon so there's quite a network of participating libraries.

Do you mind mentioning the title they said they couldn't find? If it is King County's catalog then I'd say they're giving you some *who-shot-john* becase I know they participate. Then I'd go back and give them hell.

I put in purchase requests as well and outside of self-published they end up picking up most of them.
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Michy
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Post by Michy » Wed June 9th, 2010, 11:29 pm

[quote=""Julianne Douglas""]Move to CA, Divia! The library system makes up for the congestion, traffic, crowding, bad schools ... ;) [/quote]

Not to mention the sunshine and mild winters.... :)

Thanks for the tip on Link+. It's been a long time since I've tried searching for something at the library, but when I did our ILL system seemed to only include several counties in CA, nothing outside of that. Admittedly it's been a long time since I've used the system, so I'll have to check it out to see if we're on the Link+ system. That would be great, might actually get me to use the library again..... ;)

As for how the library system in CA can afford their services, several years ago we passed Measure B which funds libraries (to be honest, I don't know if it was a state-wide thing, or just here in the county where I live). If you remember back in the '80s and early '90s, the libraries were in bad shape; hardly ever open, etc. Ever since Measure B they've had greatly-expanded hours and been able to acquire many new books. It's nice to know that at least some of our tax dollars are being well-spent! ;)

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Post by boswellbaxter » Wed June 9th, 2010, 11:48 pm

[quote=""LoveHistory""]I did an ILL request once, and the book never became available.

I sympathize on the lack of HF. Our library is ridiculously good at NOT carrying the books I want to read.[/quote]

Our annual library sale has a much better selection of books than the library itself, which concentrates mainly on buying fiction from the most popular authors. I use the county library for ILL more than anything else these days, because there's seldom anything I want in the regular collection.
Susan Higginbotham
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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu June 10th, 2010, 12:03 am

The book I was looking for was Flow Down Like Silver (Hypatia of Alexandria) by Ki Longfellow.

Ok, so not the powerhouses that some HF novels are but I thought someone would have it.

I've been trying to be good with my book buying habits, but unless its a big name HF novel or shinning reviews then they don't get it. I hate that about my library.
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Chris Little
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Post by Chris Little » Thu June 10th, 2010, 12:39 am

Having ordered thousands of interlibrary loans, I came to appreciate most those patrons who came to the library with documentation about the desired materials. It’s enjoyable to search for books in other libraries, but can be frustrating when the patron lacks complete author/title/publisher info. An incompletely filled out form may drift to the bottom of the in-basket.

In recent years, the Internet has made the ILL process much more efficient, but taking that printout with you to the library can help, because counter staff aren’t always confident or familiar with the ILL process, and those employees who don’t elicit enough info from the patron can slow the process. If you can, make the request directly to the ILL staff rather than the circ counter staff. And have the counter employee attach your printout to the ILL form if possible.

Nowadays, when one of you suggests an intriguing HF book, I tend to search http://www.worldcat.org first, because it tells me if the book is in either the local regional public or community college libraries. (Those libraries will be listed at the top of the list because they are physically closest.) If it isn’t locally available, then the printout lists the “holding” libraries by distance from my zipcode. Also, if you use Worldcat, try to select the edition of the book that has been published by your country’s “mainstream” publishers rather than selecting an older edition that isn’t as likely to be available in a lot of libraries. For example, Alfred Duggan’s “Leopards and Lilies” shows 7 editions on Worldcat. If I was requesting “Lilies,” I’d select the third option down, the Coward-McCann, New York, rather than the Chatto edition from London. (Note: I’ve had ILL staff tell me that they couldn’t obtain a book because they only searched for a limited edition rather than an edition with a larger distribution.)

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