Study reveals interlibrary loan practices

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Interlibrary loans in academic libraries have increased by 14 per cent over the past three years and libraries spend an average of $3,500 on related shipping charges. These are some of the key findings of a survey by Primary Research Group into interlibrary loans in 75 academic libraries in the USA, the UK and Canada.

The study also found that the mean turnaround time for articles borrowed was 3.03 days and that more than three-quarters (77.33 per cent) of the interlibrary loan units of the institutions surveyed have not performed workflow studies to review practices and staffing.

In addition, the study examines the impact of e-books, digital repositories and distance learning programmes on interlibrary loan practices. In addition, the report covers developments in consortiums, state networks, the negotiation of interlibary loan contract terms with information providers, work flow studies, automation, fee structure and other issues in interlibrary loan in a higher education setting.