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Borrowing Resources through Interlibrary Loan: Illiad

Module by: David Getman, Paula Sanders. E-mail the authors

Summary: This module, part of a series on conducting historical research, describes how to request works held at other libraries using interlibrary loan. It focuses on Illiad, one of the leading web-based interlibrary loan systems.

What if the library does not own the work you need?

While you are conducting research, you may come across references to a work that appears to be perfect for your project--except that your library does not own a copy of it. Never fear! Through interlibrary loan (ILL), your library can probably borrow a copy and whisk it to you in only a few days. Many libraries have implemented web-based interlibrary loan management systems that make it easier for the borrower to make requests and for the library to fulfill them. Such systems allow users to follow up on loan requests and even to receive articles in an electronic format such as PDF. In this module, part of a series exploring how to conduct historical research, we describe the interlibrary loan process, focusing on OCLC's Illiad, the system used by many libraries.

Getting started with Illiad

Many libraries highlight interlibrary loan on their home pages, typically under a heading such as "services." You can also find the interlibrary loan link by conducting a search on your library's web site or while you are searching for resources in WorldCat, the online catalog that lists the holdings of thousands of libraries. If you're a first-time user of Illiad, you will need to register with the system so that the library can verify that you're authorized to borrow resources and so that they can easily contact you when your loan request is ready. Registration requires only that you provide some basic information and should take only a few minutes.

Note:

The interface for Illiad may look different at different libraries, but the core functions remain the same. For purposes of demonstration, this module focuses on the Illiad interface at Fondren Library.

Ordering Through Illiad

Once you have registered with Illiad, you can immediately make an interlibrary loan request. Keep in mind that Illiad will probably not order anything that the library already owns, even if it is checked out. You can request that checked-out materials be recalled through the library catalog; simply look up the work by title or author, bring up the entry on the work and look for the user services or recall option.

What information you will need to order a book.

First, let's check out the types of information needed to order a book through Illiad. Log in by entering your ID and password into the text boxes. You will be taken to the main menu for Illiad. From here you can update your user information, keep track of what you have ordered and when it's due back, and order a variety of works, including documents, patents, theses, books and even specific chapters from books. . For our introductory purposes here we will focus on ordering a book, Douglas Sladen’s Oriental Cairo.

Select the "Request a Book" option.

Figure 1
Figure 1 (lll4.bmp)
The Loan Request Screen you see provides you with a list of everything you need to locate a book through Illiad. This is where we will return once we have all of the information we need to satisfy the requirements. You could order a book with just the name of the author and the title. However, the more information you have the more likely it is that the Interlibrary Loan department will be able locate your work. Also, the easier you make it for the staff to find the work, the faster it will be processed. Make a note here of the types of information the staff needs to process your order.
Figure 2: Illiad form for interlibrary loan requests
Figure 2 (lll5.bmp)

Locating the information you need to order a book.

One of the easiest ways to gather all of the information you need to order a book through Illiad is to locate the book through WorldCat, which contains catalog records from thousands of libraries around the world. You can access WorldCat by visiting the Fondren homepage, selecting the Catalog option and then selecting the Other Library Option. Scroll down a bit and you will see the WorldCat link.

As an example we will bring up “Oriental Cairo” to show you where to look for the information you need and then to point out a short cut.

Enter the title in the Title textbox select the Search option.

Figure 3: Searching WorldCat
Figure 3 (lll6.bmp)
Select the full record for your search result. We have the author’s full name, title, date of publication, publication place and publisher, everything we need to order the book through interlibrary loan.
Figure 4: WorldCat result for "Oriental Cairo"
Figure 4 (lll8.bmp)
We could head back to Illiad's request page at this point to enter our information, but we have one more service option to explore. Take a quick look under the Get This Item heading just below the title information at the top. Notice the Interlibrary loan option.
Figure 5
Figure 5 (lll9.bmp)
If you select this option, WorldCat will take you directly to Illiad at your library and automatically enter all of the information you need to order the book, including the libraries in which it is available.

What next?

All you have to do now is to wait. ILL will contact you when your book arrives or with any problems they have in ordering it. If you wish to check on the status of your order, just head back to the Illiad home page and select that option near the bottom of the list.

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