Improving Patron Service in Interlibrary Borrowing, a Case Study

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A poster session presented at the American Library Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, June 18, 2001



The University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library ILL Borrowing Office is a high volume borrowing office. Over the past 5 years the office has implemented technological and workflow changes to improve the delivery of ILL borrowing services to patrons. Technological changes implemented in the office include: patron-initiated requesting in the CIC Virtual Electronic Library and WorldCat, tight links between patron-initiated requests and an external patron database, OCLC direct request service, OCLC custom holdings, OCLC ILL Fee Management Service, web-based request forms, using the integrated library system to manage circulation, ARIEL, and CLIO ILL management software. Other changes include expanding communication with patrons via email, offering fewer office hours, abolishment of all paper files, physical rearrangement of the office, only accepting requests via electronic means, and routing selected ILL requests to Acquisitions for rush purchase and processing. Request volume has increased over time. Staff levels have not changed significantly. Turnaround time has decreased significantly and patrons receive their requested materials much faster. The poster will present the changes made by the ILL Borrowing Office and the impact on patron service. Plans for the future will be presented.