Patron-Initiated ILL

Patron-Initiated ILL
(AKA patron-placed holds)

Issues identified are of these types: Policy, Design, & Technical .

MOBAC’s ILL Committee and I have been invited to participate in the new ILL Committee of GGLN.

Policy Issues for Patron-Initiated ILL
1. Patron affiliation. Proposed: patron must be affiliated with a specific library, known as “patron’s library.”

2. Patron authentication. Proposed: patron is authenticated by own library to permit access to the ILL system.


3. Shipping: Proposed: items are shipped to patron’s library (not patron).


4. Accountability for item once sent to patron’s library. Proposed: patron’s library is accountable.


5. Queues and Gateways at patron’s library. Discussion: should there be any form of queuing or approval by patron’s library’s staff before patron’s request is sent out for ILL?

A: If it (the request) goes outside of the system, yes, mediate it – otherwise, no.

6. Searches at patron’s library required. Discussion: should a search of the patron’s library’s (online) catalog be required before patron may access the ILL system?

A: Ideally, yes, not sure how this would work. Would patrons have to redo their search if they are not in their local catalog?

7. Staff intervention. Discussion: are there cases in which the patron’s library’s staff should be able to intervene in a patron’s ILL request?

A: No, unmediated=unmediated

8. ILL request limits. Proposed: patron’s library may impose limits on the number of current requests and the types of materials requested by its patrons; the ILL system will default to 5 current requests, all types permitted, otherwise.

A: Can this be programmed, library to library, i.e., can individual libraries make that determination, which default they want?

9. Role of reference librarians. Discussion:will reference librarians have any role, perhaps online, in patron-initiated ILL?

A: Beyond patron training, education and encouragement? No.

10. Patron ILL distinguished. Discussion: should patron-initiated ILL requests be so identified to the library receiving the request?


11. Recipients of patron ILL requests. Discussion: are patron-initiated ILL requests limited to libraries within the region (MOBAC)?

A: the reach of this is only limited by those libraries we have agreements with, the technology, and the catalog.

12. Digital and non-return items. Discussion: should any rules apply specially to digital documents or non-return items (photocopies) for patron ILL?

A: questions around this: will it track © (this is borrowing library’s responsibility), will items held digitally be “caught” by the system (i.e., library owns it on-line, don’t request it via ILL) Can special rules around digital material be determined by individual libraries

13. Load balancing. Discussion: what means should be employed to balance ILL loads among participating libraries?

A: Yes, this is definitely needed, don’t know how to do this technologically.

Design Issues for Patron-Initiated ILL

1. Patron access to ILL system. Proposed: the patron accesses the ILL request system through the patron’s library web site.


2. Patron access to status. Discussion: should the system provide an online way for patrons to check the status of their requests? How much information should be provided?

A: YES: shipped, received, order in process, due date

3. Patron cancellation. Proposed: the system should provide a way for the patron to cancel a request before it has been sent.


4. Patron preferences. Discussion: should the ILL system provide a way for patrons to indicate the precision of the request?

A: YES (i.e., this edition only kinds of precise info, need by date)

Technical Issues for Patron-Initiated ILL

1. Patron authentication by diverse local library patron databases.


2. Patron identification within ILL system, passwords, session ids, cookies, etc.


3. Lender chain. Discussion: should a lender chain built on the initial search be refreshed if the request is declined and sent to the next library on the chain?


4. Many questions if patron ILL extends beyond region (MOBAC).

A: Yes, we are aware…

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