May 19, 2016

Renewals -- Another Look

Though it's been commented on tangentially upon several occasions throughout this blog, the last time the topic of ILL renewals was specifically and exclusively covered in earnest was September 25, 2008. So, it's about time to re-visit the subject of renewing your ILLiad loans with a quick primer, covering some basic points....

First things, first -- you cannot "renew" an ILLiad loaned item, per se. Indeed, you can only "request" a renewal. It is then up to the lender library to decide whether or not they will grant an extension, and if so, for how long. As such, ILL renewals will not take place in "real time", and there will always be more or less of a delay in the response to your request. This is a distinguishing feature of loans with ILLiad, in contrast with the case of direct checkouts of KSL and OhioLINK items.

Next -- is your loan actually eligible for a renewal request? When you received your original e-mail notification letting you know that your item was ready for pick-up, a line in the text read either "Is this loan renewable? Yes" or "Is this loan renewable? No". When you actually came to sign out the materials, the label on the cover was either marked with "NO RENEWALS" or it was not. Keep in mind that any restriction prohibiting renewals is one that has been indicated by the lending library, not by the KSL ILL staff.

When to request a renewal -- the rule is "within 5 days prior to the original due date". You will be sent an automated "Due Soon" notification at the appropriate time, well ahead of your loan's due date. The first "Overdue" notice will not go out until the day after this date. If you loan has become overdue, you will need to contact KSL ILL staff (see below), since the window of opportunity will have already passed.

How to request a renewal -- you will be instructed to log into your ILLiad account, and then go to the list of "Checked Out Items" (under the "View" section of your Main Menu). From there you will select the corresponding loan transaction number, and when the page opens click (once only) on "Renew Request" at the top. A confirmation message will appear if your request was successful, as long as you submitted it within the appropriate time range. If this link is not present, your loan is not eligible for renewals, for one of the reasons already mentioned above.

But wait -- your renewal is not complete immediately. You will need to be on alert for an e-mail reply message regarding your renewal request, which should normally be sent out within 24 hours. The subject heading will either be "ILL Renewal OK" or "ILL Renewal Denied", and this again is at the discretion of the lender library. Also keep in mind that the new due date assigned (if the renewal was granted) may vary according to the policies of the lender, and cannot be expected to be uniform in all cases (again in contrast to local and OhioLINK direct checkouts).

Finally -- additional renewals are in general not possible with ILLiad loans. Once you have requested your first renewal, you will no longer have the option to request any additional ones for the same transaction via your ILLiad login session, and will need to contact ILL staff for further consideration. (This is why we also warn against "double-clicking" the "Renew Request" link when attempting to make your request--the system is already in the process of acknowledging your initial request, and thinks you are trying to submit a second one immediately thereafter.)

As always, our Customer Help Page's section on Renewal Requests systematically covers the process of requesting ILL renewals. Feel free to have a look there, any time--day or night.

Still have questions or concerns about requesting renewals with ILLiad? Please contact the Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

Continue reading "Renewals -- Another Look"

April 18, 2016

Please Don't Hammer! -- A Little Patience with ILLiad

Sometimes our ILLiad server gets a little overwhelmed due to high usage, or the Internet is just plain running slow thanks to overall excessive traffic volume. You may be trying to enter your ILL requests, and the screen apparently freezes up. We all know that feeling, but the truth is -- ILLiad is a very reliable application, but like anything, requires a little patience every now and then.

Please keep in mind that, although it looks like nothing is happening, the act of repeatedly pressing the 'Submit Request' button on request forms in quick succession will result in the creation of unnecessary duplicate transactions. We ask that you please allow time for the page to refresh after clicking on this button the first time, and wait until you receive the confirmation message at the top indicating the request has been received and assigned a transaction number.

If you have submitted multiple requests in this manner, they will subsequently show up as "Outstanding Requests" on your Main Menu page (which might seem inexplicable at first). At this point, you may choose to cancel them on your own (as a courtesy to ILL staff). Please be aware that we do not accept duplicates, and if we see multiple requests for identical materials submitted by the same patron in this pattern, we will process only the first one and cancel the remaining transactions. Our policy regarding duplicates has been addressed previously in the blog entry for April 21, 2011.

In a related issue...

When viewing electronically delivered PDF's, you may notice similar slowness while waiting for the page images to appear on your screen. Just another reminder that high-volume Internet traffic might be partly to blame, while the fact is that larger files will normally take longer to load as a rule. Clicking on "View PDF" repeatedly under these circumstances may actually further slow down the loading process -- leading to escalating frustration. As always, we recommend a little patience, and your material should be delivered in due course. FYI, this topic has also been issue previously discussed in entries for August 27, 2013, March 23, 2012 and May 5, 2009.

As always, we hope this bit of advice has been helpful in providing you optimal service from the ILLiad application.

Questions or concerns about ILLiad, or about ILL policies and services in general? Please contact the Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

March 21, 2016

Non-Roman Alphabetical Characters in ILLiad Requests - Revisited

This is a topic I dealt with fairly extensively in an entry on January 28, 2013. Just wanted to make a few comments on some recent developments in the world of KSL ILLiad...

I have been noticing a greater influx of requests submitted into the KSL ILLiad site that contain actual Chinese characters, so I thought it might be apropos to remark on this recent trend. (As a passing note--this has been occurring primarily for materials in the area of art history, but also with a few in science and engineering.) For some time, ILLiad has been accepting these characters (as well as other non-Roman characters) with no problem. OCLC, our main application for transmitting online interlibrary loan transactions, is also able to process them as part of a submitted citation.

For the most part, this is all fine and well. However, it can have implications on our ability to effectively search the OCLC database for available holdings on books and periodicals with Chinese titles (as with any other foreign-language titles using non-alphabetic writing systems). If you wish to submit a request (for a book, book chapter, conference paper, journal article, etc.), it is more prudent to enter a title for the book or journal in transliterated form -- or better yet, actually translated into English. This makes the task of searching much easier and quicker for ILL staff, and thus expedites the processing of your request. If you choose to include such characters in your primary book title or journal title entry field, it is much more helpful if you have them accompanied with the transliterated form of the title, or better yet, cite the ISBN, ISSN or OCLC number (in their respective entry lines, of course) as well. Relevant comments in the "Notes" field of the request form are also most welcome.

A more appropriate context for including these characters in your citation is where you enter the title (and author) of the article, book chapter, conference paper, etc. An English translation might also be of use, while simply including a Romanized transliteration is probably less helpful. Supplier library staff may by chance be able to recognize the foreign characters, and better visually locate the material to be reproduced, yet not be able to equate the characters with transliterated syllables or words translated into English. Your best bet, of course, is to always cite the inclusive pages or at least the starting page number.

As always, hoping this advice proves to be enlightening in your use of our ILLiad resource.

Questions or concerns about ILLiad or ILL services in general? Please contact the Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

February 19, 2016

ILLiad Request Basics -- A Few Reminders

Once again it's time to go over a few fundamental points regarding the proper submission of interlibrary loan requests, using the forms provided in the KSL ILLiad site. Below are some of the most significant of these...

* Requesting an ARTICLE:
-- Use the "Journal Article" form primarily, for requesting an article from a scholarly journal, serial, or newspaper.
-- Enter appropriate information into all marked "required" fields, providing adequate information to identify the article needed.
-- Clearly cite the publication title--please avoid abbreviations, for quicker processing.
-- Clearly cite the article title and author, if possible.
-- Indicate the volume number, the issue number (if available), the date (the month or quarter, and the year--always required), and the inclusive pages (if available).
-- Please avoid using "unknown" in the data fields, as much as possible (especially for the "article title"), and note that we cannot process your request if the "journal title" is indicated as "unknown".
-- Please be aware that there are specialized copy request forms also available: "Book Chapter", "Conference Paper", etc.

* Requesting a BOOK:
-- Use the "Book" form primarily, for requesting (you guessed it) a book, any other monograph type, or a music score).
-- Enter appropriate information into all marked "required" fields, providing adequate information to identify the loan item needed.
-- Clearly cite the author or editor (if available), title (required), publisher and publication date.
-- Clearly indicate the edition you need--this is absolutely required if you also specify that you will not accept an alternate edition.
-- Please be aware that there are specialized loan request forms also available: "Report", "Thesis", etc.
-- Please do NOT use the "Other (Misc. Loan)" form for ordinary loan requests, including music scores)--it is intended specifically for Audio-Visual materials, Microfilm, Journal Loans, Mixed-Media, etc.

* All Request Forms:
-- The source of your citation and any additional notes are always helpful to ILL staff, and every form includes fields where you may enter such information.
-- Providing a verified OCLC Number, ISSN (for serials), or ISBN (for books) in the corresponding fields is also quite useful in expediting the processing of your request.

Another "boring" but occasionally necessary blog entry -- sorry about that, folks.

Questions or concerns about ILLiad or ILL services in general? Please contact the Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

January 19, 2016

OhioLINK Loans & ILLiad Duplicate Requests

Use of OhioLINK for loans prior to considering ILLiad is an issue that has been addressed in this blog on many previous occasions, in one context or another (starting with the most recent): April 20, 2015,October 23, 2014, December 8, 2009, December 18, 2008, November 19, 2008 Now let's take the opportunity to examine it from a new angle--i.e., how we deal with it from the standpoint of optimal and reasonable service value....

When processing loan requests submitted to ILLiad by KSL users, ILL staff routinely verify the availability of books (and other returnables) in the Kelvin Smith Library collections (including our satellite locations) and those of other CWRU campus library system locations, as well as in OhioLINK.

The ILLiad staff client (our "work-horse") itself is linked to the university's joint library catalog (and consequently to OhioLINK and SearchOhio), as well as to the OCLC WorldCat database. By virtue of this arrangement, ILL staff are alerted to the possible availability of requested items in our own library collections (including KSL and other campus locations) and in those of all other OhioLINK members--all during the initial holdings search process.

In such cases where we have determined that a title is ostensibly available through the OhioLINK resource (and in nearly all cases not needing to be obtained through an ILLiad transaction), ILL staff may take one of the following actions...

* Cancel the original ILLiad request if it has been determined that copies are available for request in OhioLINK, in the edition specified or alternate editions (if the indicated as acceptable by the user).
* Cancel what is essentially a "duplicate" in ILLiad, if the identical item is ascertained to have already been requested from OhioLINK, as verified in the patron's circulation account.
* At our discretion, process a loan request through traditional ILL (ILLiad) when ONLY ONE copy is available in OhioLINK, in case that copy is found to be missing and thus the request cannot roll over automatically to another consortium member library.
* At our discretion and as a case-by-case courtesy, process a loan request through traditional ILL (ILLiad) when a local (CWRU campus library-owned) copy appears to be available and blocks one's ability to submit a direct OhioLINK request (usually when another location's copy is classed as Reference or designated for Course Reserve).

Cancellation messages that we send out from ILLiad will explain our actions in fair detail, and direct you to the appropriate URL for the OhioLINK resource (often also including specifically the available copy holdings, as well as the direct link to the relevant catalog record page). All this will facilitate your access to OhioLINK online borrowing, which also invariably offers you a more flexible loan period and renewal policy than is typical of traditional interlibrary loan transactions.

If you have any questions or concerns about OhioLINK and ILLiad services, contact the KSL ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

December 10, 2015

Assorted End-of-Year Reminders

Once again, here is a short list of routine reminders for submitting your requests in ILLiad. I realize this it not exactly ending the year with at 'BANG', but then again, sometimes 'you gotta do what you gotta do'--

* Do not attempt to enter full citation strings into any single request field; please break down and enter the separate components and type them into their corresponding specific individual fields.
* When entering an OCLC accession number into its respective field, please type in only one per request form; additional prospective OCLC numbers may be specified in the 'Notes' field.
* Please use OCLC numbers with numerous (rather than few) holdings, if possible; this is preferred, for a greater probability of obtaining materials through ILL.
* Please use legitimate OCLC numbers, (i.e., that have been obtained as a result of actual OCLC WorldCat searches); other numbers (such as ISSN, ISBN, LC Call Number) are to be entered in their own corresponding request field.
* Similarly, when entering an ISSN or ISBN into its own respective field, please type in only one per request form; additional such numbers may be specified in the 'Notes' field.
* When providing ISSN's or ISBN's, please enter only legitimate, properly-formatted such numbers into their corresponding field; no other forms of citation identification number should be used in their place.
* 'Other (Misc.)' form is to be used for requesting special loans only; do not enter full citations for articles, book chapters, conference papers, etc, or for any regular loan-type for which a request for otherwise already exists.
* Last, but not least -- please avoid entering abbreviated and ambiguous titles.

Though a little off-topic, a couple more timely reminders worth putting out there...

* Return all your loans on time (KSL, OhioLINK, ILLiad), to avoid loss of ILL (and regular) borrowing privileges.
* Keep your regular library fines at $15.00 or below (or, better yet, pay them off entirely), also to avoid loss of ILL (and regular) borrowing privileges.

To keep this entry short, it is simply worth mentioning that all these points have been addressed in greater detail elsewhere throughout this blog. So, I don't think I need to provide the rationale behind any of these here or now. Thanks to all ILL users for their cooperation when using ILLiad and all KSL services.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact KSL ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

November 18, 2015

Keeping Your ILLiad User Information Current -- A Reprise

Just sending out another long-overdue reminder for everyone to be sure all the information in their ILLiad profiles is being kept up-to-date. This topic was previously addressed in my entry published on June 28, 2010, so it's time to talk a little more about it again...

A Quick Run-Through of Profile Points--

* Username - this is permanently associated with your account from the time you create it, and cannot be changed; it also can never be re-used in another account.
* Name (First, Last) - whenever you change this (e.g., due to change in marital status), we recommend you also update it in likewise your ILLiad account.
* Phone Number - we rarely contact patrons by phone, but we still recommend you keep this up-to-date, anyway.
* E-mail Address - it is very important that you keep this current (and properly formatted), and make sure it is an account where you regularly check your messages; this is our primary means of keeping in touch with our users.
* Address - it is probably a good idea to keep this updated, especially if you are enrolled as a Distance Ed Graduate student (Doctor of Management) receiving courier delivery of loans (home or business), or Faculty signed up for campus delivery (to departmental drop-off site); otherwise, ILL service does not send regular notifications by mail.
* Status - please keep this updated in accordance with your status in the university at all times.
* Department (or Major) - this should also be always kept up-to-date; more about university departments, below...

** Departments that have changed their names, recently or not-so-recently (and which you may want to update in your profile, if applicable), for example:
EARTH, ENVIRONMENTAL & PLANETARY SCIENCES -- formerly GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES
MATHEMATICS, APPLIED MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS -- formerly MATHEMATICS (including STATISTICS)
PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES -- merger of PSYCHOLOGY and COMMUNICATION SCIENCES
RELIGIOUS STUDIES -- formerly RELIGION
THEATER and DANCE -- now two separate departments

** Departments served by a campus library system other than Kelvin Smith Library for ILL purposes (and which will not appear in our own ILLiad registration list)...
-- If you no longer are affiliated with the university through the College of Arts and Sciences, the Case School of Engineering, the Weatherhead School of Management, or a central administrative department.
-- If you have transferred to a department in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing (except students), the School of Dental Medicine, or any of various interdisciplinary health science-related programs.
-- Under the two circumstances described immediately above, we ask that you discontinue using your KSL ILLiad account, and set up a new account at one of these sites for all future ILL service needs, as appropriate: MSASS Harris Library LAW Library Cleveland Health Sciences Library
-- This topic was previously discussed in my entry for August 7, 2009, and is also addressed in our FAQ Page regarding Who Can Use ILLiad?

For further explanation on keeping your ILLiad account current, please view our Customer Help Page section on Changing Your User Information.

Though it's a topic for another time (and has also been discussed elsewhere in this blog), we always recommend that you change your ILLiad password regularly, paying attention to the usual security considerations. More on this may also be found at our Customer Help Page section on Changing a Password.

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact KSL ILL staff by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.