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Library system updates allow for easier loaning
Posted By Ben Panko On January 30, 2013 @ 11:22 pm In News | No Comments
The staff at Boatwright Memorial Library has updated the computer system used for interlibrary loans.
Library patrons can now view their past loan requests, said Travis Smith, the interlibrary loan supervisor. Staff can also now keep statistics on loaned books, and users can receive status updates for books borrowed, he said.
Interlibrary loaning is a process by which patrons who need a book not carried by their library can borrow it from another, Smith said.
The interlibrary loan staff processes approximately 30 to 40 borrowing and loaning requests daily, Smith said. The most frequent users are faculty from the science and humanities departments, he said, with some professors borrowing three to four books per day.
Unlike some other university libraries, interlibrary borrowing through Boatwright, including shipping costs, is always free, Smith said.
The change to ILLiad Resource Sharing Management software, produced by Atlas Sytems, resulted from the increasing difficulty to work with the previous system, ILL Management, Smith said. The program, which came free with the Voyager software system still used by the library, is no longer supported by its vender, he said. Increasingly frequent problems required many workarounds by the interlibrary loan staff, he said.
The ILLiad program was implemented in two steps, Smith said. The part of the software used to lend books to other libraries has been installed since July 2012, he said, and the part used to borrow books from other libraries was activated on Jan. 18. Smith estimated the cost of ILLiad at approximately $7,000, which he thought was reasonable, he said.
Adapting to the new computer system was not difficult, Smith said, but time consuming. Betty Tobias, an interlibrary loan associate, said that she and the other staff members had been growing more comfortable with ILLiad each day, and that it had similar procedures to the old interlibrary loan system.
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