Find It Fail: What ILL can tell us about Challenges related to Known Item Discovery

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When discovery of known items fail, library users often turn to interlibrary loan for assistance obtaining these materials. At the University of Maryland Libraries, Interlibrary Loan staff members then fill the requests by directing the user to subscription e-resources or items that are freely available on the web. The resulting transactions—approximately 2,500 per year—provide insight into the difficulties encountered by library users in finding and accessing known items online. Data gathered in ILLiad’s Document Delivery module during FY2014 and FY2015 sheds light on which user groups have trouble finding material readily available online and which types of resources most often go undiscovered. Analyzing this data has led the UMD ILL unit to identify several strategies to help users better locate these materials themselves. The poster will cover how we collect this data, specific issues that the data reveals, the actions we are taking in response, and how we hope to measure the success of our efforts to improve known item discovery within the UMD community.


Poster presented at the IDS Project Conference, Watertown, New York, July 30, 2015