Interlibrary Loan goes global
Many people know that interlibrary loan (ILL) can easily retrieve articles and books from local institutions such as Drexel and Penn, but may be unaware that Falvey Memorial Library participates in significant international exchange as well.
In fact, Falvey has fostered a global reputation for being a generous lender of our collection. This lending aspect of ILL is not something the typical Villanova student or scholar may think about, but it contributes significantly to facilitating the retrieval of items, whether common or obscure, that they request themselves. Each week Falvey fills hundreds of requests for journal articles and books for libraries around the world, including repeat customers from universities in Australia, Italy, Guam and Hong Kong.
“There’s no particular area (of our collection) that is borrowed more frequently by international universities,” says Ann Stango, interlibrary loan lending specialist. “It’s more a general representation of journals and books, and particularly photocopies from our journals.” This good will effort then benefits Falvey's own borrowers, particularly when they need more obscure materials. Common knowledge exists in the ILL world about who the “good guys” are – namely, those whose turnaround time is quick, whose fulfillment is accurate and whose collections are extensive.
It is this revolving-door effect that makes ILL tick, complementing the borrowing by users at Villanova. “Thanks in particular to research librarians Susan Ottignon and Barbara Quintiliano who translate many of our (foreign language) requests, we are able to communicate and exchange with European libraries,” says Joanne Quinn, borrowing specialist. “I wonder sometimes whether patrons realize how many miles their book has traveled and how many seas it has crossed to reach their hands.”
Contributed by Ann Stango and Joanne Quinn; ILL image by Joanne Quinn