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All About Interlibrary Loan

The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) unit of the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges processes requests for loans of books or microforms, or copies of articles from journals not owned or accessible by our libraries, for our faculty, students and staff. This article seeks to explain the various procedures by which these loans can be requested, as well as some fantastic new developments in the ways we may deliver materials to you.

As you conduct your research, when considering Interlibrary Loan, the first step is always to check Blais, our online catalog, for materials we own. For journal articles, you will also want to search the Electronic Journals list. Or, from the Libraries' homepage, you may click on Research, then Electronic Journals.

If you have determined that you need a book that is not available here, you have two options. First, search the LINK+ catalog. LINK+ is a cooperative system of many libraries throughout the state of California. You make requests online and the books are delivered, usually within 2 or 3 days, to the Honnold/Mudd Library Circulation Desk. If you search for a book in Blais and find that either we do not own it, or that our copy is checked out or otherwise unavailable (e.g., on Reserve, in Mending, etc.), you may click the "LINK+" button at the top of the screen and connect directly to LINK+ to search for that title and make your request. You may also connect directly to LINK+ or, from the Libraries' homepage, click on Research, then Library Catalogs and then select LINK+.

If a book you need is not available through LINK+, the next option to use is Interlibrary Loan. At the Libraries' homepage, click on Research, then Interlibrary Loan. You will be led to the online book request form, where you will enter the pertinent information for the request. Requests are processed daily by the ILL staff, and you will be notified when your books arrive; average time for a book's arrival is 10 days, depending on availability and the lending library's processes. Cancellation of a request depends on the number of available suppliers and/or the date by which the book is needed; the general policy is that the ILL staff will keep trying to obtain a needed book until either all potential suppliers have been unable to fill the request, or until the borrower no longer needs the book. We have cooperative arrangements with many institutions and have a good success rate for filling our users' requests. ILL books may be picked up at the Circulation Desk in Honnold/Mudd.

The process for getting an article includes some different options. Again, first check Blais to see if we have a subscription to the journal. In Blais you will see records for paper subscriptions, microforms, and electronic links to journals. You will also need to check the list of Electronic Journals. If the article is not available to us in paper, microform, or electronically, you may choose to request it yourself through ingenta, a self-service request system (much like LINK+ for books, in that the user makes the request). The ingenta system consists of a searchable database of more than 11 million citations from over 20,000 journals. There are a few things to remember about ingenta: 1) if we own the journal title in any way and for any time period, we cannot request an article through ingenta; 2) the cost of the article must be no more than $40; and 3) it is necessary to provide a fax number when you set up your personal ingenta account. In many cases, articles are available electronically through ingenta, but some are faxed. If you do not have a fax number, you may always use the Copy Center fax number (607-7035) and pick up your article(s) there. Delivery of articles from ingenta is usually within 48 hours.

You may also request articles through ILL. From the Libraries' homepage, select Research, then click on Interlibrary Loan and make your article request. As with book requests, The Claremont Colleges participate in many networks for satisfying patrons' requests for journal articles. In the last few months, particularly, a great deal of work has been done by the ILL staff and the staff of Information Technology to provide electronic delivery of articles to your desktop, resulting in approximately 90 % of the article requests now coming to you online, often attached to an email message. In the cases where the providing library still sends us a paper (photocopied) article, we can send it to you through campus mail, or you may pick up the article at the Honnold/Mudd Circulation Desk. Article requests are usually received within 5-7 days, again depending on the number of available suppliers and the supplier's work processes.

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns about ILL. We are continually working to make both the request mechanisms and the delivery processes smoother, faster, and more efficient.

Linda Gunter, Honnold/Mudd

Connections is published by The Libraries of The Claremont Colleges and distributed during Fall & Spring semesters.
Edited by
Gale Burrow. Last updated March 21, 2003 by Julie Shen.