Abstract: A View from Inside the Resource Sharing Ecosystem: the Role ILL Services in the Research Process of Scholars

Joe Lenkart; University of Illinois (United States)

Each day resource sharing departments and ILL professionals from around the world play a vital in the research process of scholars.  From filling general requests for articles and monographs to completing complex requests for specialized materials (i.e. materials in vernacular languages) held at the local, regional, national, and international levels. The steps ILL professionals take to verify, search, retrieve, and resolve requests has a direct impact on academic libraries, scholarly communities, and the global information network. Moreover, the types of peer support, institutional and professional networks that ILL professionals rely on also play an important role in sustaining the vast resource-sharing network. The proposed assessment study seeks to gain insights into the resource-sharing ecosystem by conducting a survey of ILL professionals to explore what steps, strategies, and resources ILL professionals depend on to complete requests in a high volume and fast-faced service environments. This study also seeks to investigate perceptions of international resource sharing from daily operations perspective. The results might help inform service coordinators and unit heads on current training and service needs as well as linkages with scholarly groups at their home institutions. One possible outcome of this study is to identify and strengthen service collaboration in resource sharing.