Monday, 28 January 2013

Interlibrary Loans

We're quickly approaching the end of January and I'm wondering how people are doing with their New Year resolutions.   If your desire was to read more books, the library is the perfect place to help you reach that goal.  Maybe you've already visited your local library and they didn't have the book you were looking for.  Perhaps you were able to request it from one of the other branch libraries in our system.  Loan requests between branch libraries are fairly simple and are usually filled promptly. 

But what if our library system doesn't own the book at all?  Then what?  That's when you need the Reference department working on your behalf.   We can offer you the wonderful world of Interlibrary Loans (ILL).   The ILL service enables you to borrow books from libraries outside of the Annapolis Valley Regional Library system.  These books are often owned by other regional libraries in Nova Scotia.

Once you submit your ILL request, either at a branch or via our website, we will search high and low for the book you wish to read.   We will start by searching the 8 other regional library systems in the province.  If the book is not found, then we will expand our search to include academic libraries within the province.  We don't have to stop there either.  If you wish, we can search public and academic libraries across the country.  

Many libraries in Canada participate in and support Interlibrary Loans because it's a simple and cost-effective way to share resources among libraries and with the public.  This service is offered at no cost to you.  All you need is your library card and the doors are opened for you. 
When a book is borrowed through ILL, we are obliged to abide by the policies of the lending library, and to pass those stipulations onto you, the borrower.   Often, books may be borrowed for 2-3 weeks and sometimes renewals are possible.  Occasionally a book may be owned only by a library that charges a borrowing fee.  But don't worry, we will always check with you first to see if you are willing to pay any associated charges.

ILL requests are considerably more time consuming than branch to branch requests.  The average wait time can be anywhere from 6-10 weeks.  It all depends on the volume of requests and the availability at lending libraries.  We set a record in 2012, requesting more than 7000 items for our borrowers through Interlibrary Loan.  That's an increase of over 1000 items from the previous year.

We are known for, and proud of, our dogged determination in getting you the books that you want and need.   So please don't hesitate to give us a try and put our Interlibrary Loan service to work for you.  

-Pam Ellis,
Interlibrary Loans Queen

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