International Borrowing Through Interlibrary Loan

If you've ever spent some time on the Main Floor of Kelvin Smith Library, you will have heard campus tour guides often say that "you can get anything from all over the world with ILLiad". Well, this is generally an accurate statement--as, you will see below, our record clearly demonstrates.

So, what kinds of things do we typically get from sources outside the U.S.? Well, by my first-hand estimation, these would include items of the following types:

* Foreign theses and dissertations
* Esoteric literary works in foreign languages
* Rare music scores
* Papers from conferences held outside the U.S.
* Articles from non-English scholarly journals

Granted, a lot of these kinds of materials are available from libraries located in the U.S. too, so this is not to be taken as a hard-and-fast rule. It's just that when we do have to go outside the country to obtain something, these are what they usually turn out to be. As it stands, they still comprise a significant portion of our total workload volume.

At the risk of looking a bit of a show-off, please allow me to provide some statistics on the international borrowing processed by the ILL staff of Kelvin Smith Library. Over the past 3 fiscal years, we have enlisted the services of 108 libraries and archives in 24 countries outside the United States. Consequently, we have filled a total of 453 requests for scholarly materials not available from domestic lenders--approximately 5.5% or our total fill rate. Of these countries, the top 5 suppliers (in descending order) were as follow: Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Czech Republic.

For those interested in raw data, below is a list of all the countries whose libraries we have borrowed from, from July 2014 through June 2017. Each country is listed alphabetically, followed by the corresponding numbers for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, then the total (in parentheses). At the bottom are the respective grand totals, as well.

Australia: 6, 5, 9 (20)
Austria: 1, 0, 0 (1)
Bulgaria: 0, 1, 0 (1)
Canada: 39, 33, 24 (96)
China: 0, 1, 1 (2)
Cyprus: 0, 0, 1 (1)
Czech Republic: 24, 0, 0 (24)
Denmark: 2, 4, 4 (10)
France: 0, 2, 1 (3)
Germany: 39, 36, 30 (105)
Hong Kong: 4, 1, 1 (6)
Hungary: 0, 0, 1 (1)
Ireland: 2, 5, 2 (9)
Israel: 0, 0, 3 (3)
Italy: 1, 0, 0 (1)
Japan: 8, 15, 10 (33)
Netherlands: 1, 3, 4 (8)
New Zealand: 4, 1, 4 (9)
Poland: 0, 1, 0 (1)
Slovenia: 0, 0, 2 (2)
South Africa: 5, 0, 1 (6)
Spain: 8, 4, 6 (18)
Taiwan: 1, 3, 2 (6)
United Kingdom: 26, 38, 23 (87)

All International: 171, 153, 129 (453)

Just a comment that the case of the Czech Republic in 2014-15 is a bit of an anomaly, while Australia and Spain have been more consistent and reliable suppliers over time. Either of these might have been more of a contender for fifth place.

Well, there you have it. Interlibrary Loan service does not have to end at the U.S. border. So if you need something not held in a domestic location, don't hesitate to request it. We will still try our best to get it for you.

Got questions for Kelvin Smith Library ILL staff? Contact us by phone at 216-368-3463 or 216-368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

Trackbacks

Trackback URL for this entry is: http://blog.case.edu/carl.mariani.KSLILLiad/mt-tb.cgi/28019

Comments

Post a comment





If you have entered an email address in the box, clicking this checkbox will subscribe your email address to this entry so that you are notified if any updates or additional comments occur on the entry.