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Library charging for ILL now :(


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#1 kilo90

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:05 PM

Our library system is now charging $1.00 for each interlibrary loan request!? Is this a common practice? :confused:I am really bummed about it.

#2 Perry

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:08 PM

Ours has done that for years. Sometime in the past couple years the fee went up to $2.00.

#3 Belacqua

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:15 PM

We're not charged for ILL requests, but we are asked to include on the form how much we'd be willing to pay to use the item. If the loaning library charges more than that, the transaction just doesn't go through. I've always indicated that I'm willing to pay a few dollars, but I've never been asked for a penny.

#4 Crimson Wife

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:23 PM

The library system in the county where we used to live charged $0.75 per item for things reserved on adult patron cards but waived it for items marked "juvenile" when reserved on a child's card. Our current library doesn't charge within the county system but I think it's something like $3 for items from the regional system.

#5 YLVD

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:24 PM

No, I've never seen that here.

#6 Dana

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:32 PM

We have to pay whatever the shipping costs are.
I've been able to find other books & haven't used ILL yet :)

#7 TrixieB

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:34 PM

ILL used to be free at our library. Now it costs $5/book. I don't use it anymore.

#8 GailV

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:38 PM

We're not charged for ILL requests, but we are asked to include on the form how much we'd be willing to pay to use the item. If the loaning library charges more than that, the transaction just doesn't go through. I've always indicated that I'm willing to pay a few dollars, but I've never been asked for a penny.


Same here.

I was the person in charge of ILL at a university back before I had kids, and we typically charged $1 per request for undergrads, plus whatever the lending library charged us (I always tried to get stuff for free, but sometimes people wanted stuff that was only available from expensive sources).

Your library incurs a lot of charges in ILL. I was amazed when I found out I could do it for free at the public library, considering how much it costs.

#9 54879525

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:42 PM

Mine charges too. I use a library in another town. I have to pay $50 per year, but it is worth every penny. They have a far better selection. They don't charge for ILL. They also now have e-books (which my local library does not have).

It ticks me off because our taxes in this city are insane.

#10 milovany

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:43 PM

I have NO problem with them charging. We pay $3.00 (this just changed on Aug. 1 -- it used to be free).

#11 Jennifer3141

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:48 PM

I WISH our library would do this. Maybe then, I'd actually GET some of the books I've tried to do this with. So far, I've only ever had ONE book come to us through ILL which is incredibly frustrating.

#12 CourtneyBrooke

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:21 PM

I would be extremely disappointed if ours started charging. I use it frequently- up to 5/ week- and would have to cut way back if we were charged. That would be $20/month!

#13 kewb

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:23 PM

I would be very sad if my library started charging. I use it all the time. It is bad enough that their hours have been cut and I had to rethink the way I do things.

#14 swellmomma

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:28 PM

I would be very sad if my library started charging. I use it all the time. It is bad enough that their hours have been cut and I had to rethink the way I do things.



Me too. Almost all my patronage is through interlibrary loan. It is currently free but if they started charging my usage of the library would drop dramatically.

#15 Annie G

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:30 PM

Me too. Almost all my patronage is through interlibrary loan. It is currently free but if they started charging my usage of the library would drop dramatically.


Me too. My library seems to have lots of new video games and dvds but few new good books.

#16 swellmomma

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:35 PM

Me too. My library seems to have lots of new video games and dvds but few new good books.


The kids wish our did video games, in the big city it did but not out here. My library has very little at all unless you want outdated reference books, or lots of adult fiction. The juvenile non-fiction is 1 row, the juvenile fiction is 1 row. The whole library is only 6 rows big. The one the next town over is bigger but again it does not stock the kids of materials I am looking for. That's what happens when the "big" town only has 4000 people and mine has 750 people, the libraries remain small.

#17 Annie G

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:47 PM

The kids wish our did video games, in the big city it did but not out here. My library has very little at all unless you want outdated reference books, or lots of adult fiction. The juvenile non-fiction is 1 row, the juvenile fiction is 1 row. The whole library is only 6 rows big. The one the next town over is bigger but again it does not stock the kids of materials I am looking for. That's what happens when the "big" town only has 4000 people and mine has 750 people, the libraries remain small.


We have about 25,000 in our town, and pay about $150 per year in library tax. I don't mind games or movies, but I'd prefer they buy those in addition to books, not instead of books. It's sad that our huge library doesn't even have a copy of each of the Little House books.

#18 kilo90

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:47 PM

Wow. This is very interesting to me. I could see if it was from a library outside the city (which isn't big), but from a library 3 miles down the road...just surprising. It's not worth my time to bounce around to 3 different libraries. Even though a $1 is not a lot, it adds up. Next time we move I may have to request that we look for houses based on their ILL policies. ;)

#19 cdrumm4448

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:50 PM

Our library currently doesn't charge but I wouldn't mind if they did. IL is broke. Money has to come from somewhere.

#20 Mommy22alyns

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:53 PM

Ours charges. I inquired once and almost fell over. I think it was about $4 - I honestly felt like I could buy the book used for less.

#21 kilo90

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:09 PM

Holey Moley...the city we're probably moving to next summer (Alexandria, VA) charges $5 per. My kiddos were preschool last time we lived there and we were happy with our small local selection then.

#22 lulubelle

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:15 PM

Our library does not charge. I would be so upset if they did. It would limit my selection process a great deal. Or, I would be traveling to different libraries quite a bit!

Thanks for preparing me for this possibility in the future.

#23 Ria

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:18 PM

We can borrow books for free from any of the libraries within our county. Outside of that, we've had to pay ever since I've lived here (17 years now). Probably why I don't use ILL.

#24 milovany

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:24 PM

I use it frequently- up to 5/ week- and would have to cut way back if we were charged. That would be $20/month!


I dunno -- $20 a month for access to 20 books of your choice seems like a great deal to me. Now (in my case), it would be $60 for the same thing, so we don't use it much, but I think $20 is a great deal. I guess part of it depends on how much you are paying in taxes to fund the library already. We live in the county and our city library has granted county residents free use. That might change, I supposed.

#25 kilo90

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:27 PM

OK...back the truck up...does an ILL loan only refer to books that are OUTSIDE your library system?? My only requests since we have lived here have been for books within our system just at other branches. Would this not incur a fee? If so, I am a much happier gal!:001_smile: And if this is, in fact, the case, I must seem very whiny for making an issue of $1. :tongue_smilie: At our previous base overseas, they referred to all books coming in from other libraries as ILL. Same thing in Ohio. I may just be confused with terminology.

#26 Audrey

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:28 PM

Ours charges $1 payable at the time the ILL request is made. We have a very good ILL system that connects all public libraries throughout the province, but it costs libraries to ship the books around. Some libraries waive the fee if the book is in one of their branches. Since ours is a stand-alone library and not part of a regional system, we charge the $1 to cover the postage. When we take an ILL request, there is a box to check and a line to indicate if you are willing to pay more (and how much more) if the book is not available in the province. If they check "no," then we don't look outside the province. In all cases, if the book is not available (either across the country or just in the province if they don't want to pay extra), the request is cancelled and the $1 fee is returned.

#27 milovany

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 10:35 PM

OK...back the truck up...does an ILL loan only refer to books that are OUTSIDE your library system?? My only requests since we have lived here have been for books within our system just at other branches. Would this not incur a fee? If so, I am a much happier gal!:001_smile: And if this is, in fact, the case, I must seem very whiny for making an issue of $1. :tongue_smilie: At our previous base overseas, they referred to all books coming in from other libraries as ILL. Same thing in Ohio. I may just be confused with terminology.


Yes, *I* would take "interlibrary loan" to mean books outside your own library system (not outside your one local branch). When we lived in Colorado Springs, which had a county wide library system, we could freely order from any other library in the system. ILL meant books from outside the county's library system. (Where we live now, our city library is a stand-alone library, so we don't have the option of ordering from other branches, so all such requests are ILL.)

#28 swellmomma

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:06 PM

OK...back the truck up...does an ILL loan only refer to books that are OUTSIDE your library system?? My only requests since we have lived here have been for books within our system just at other branches. Would this not incur a fee? If so, I am a much happier gal!:001_smile: And if this is, in fact, the case, I must seem very whiny for making an issue of $1. :tongue_smilie: At our previous base overseas, they referred to all books coming in from other libraries as ILL. Same thing in Ohio. I may just be confused with terminology.


I am starting to wonder the same thing. Here all books that are not from the home library itself are called ILL. I have had a few arrive to my home library via the mail because they were from outside of our regional area. I wasn't charged for those ones, and I requested them the same way I request any sort of hold. Those of you that pay for ILL do you also pay for your membership to the library each year as well?

#29 Desert Rat

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:06 PM

Nope. No charge here.

#30 Belacqua

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:07 PM

OK...back the truck up...does an ILL loan only refer to books that are OUTSIDE your library system?? My only requests since we have lived here have been for books within our system just at other branches. Would this not incur a fee? If so, I am a much happier gal!:001_smile: And if this is, in fact, the case, I must seem very whiny for making an issue of $1. :tongue_smilie: At our previous base overseas, they referred to all books coming in from other libraries as ILL. Same thing in Ohio. I may just be confused with terminology.


Like Milovany, I think this is what people usually mean by ILL. Our library is part of a rural branch system with many branches spread out over several counties, and between-branch loans are not considered ILL. I've really enjoyed noting where my ILLs come from; I recently borrowed a Teaching Company lecture from a library in Alaska (thanks, Alaska!).

#31 LibraryLover

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:11 PM

Our ILL is free and I hope it remains so. I've never not been able to get any title I've requested; the program is extensive and extends well beyond our immediate areas. I imagine it is a very costly service. My fingers are forever crossed.

Edited by LibraryLover, 24 September 2011 - 11:17 PM.


#32 Crimson Wife

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:14 PM

The $0.75 I mentioned being charged at our old library system for adult items was from one branch to the other within the county system. I never tried to get anything from outside the county so I don't know what they charged for access to the regional ILL.

#33 YourFidgetyFriend

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:21 PM

Our ILL is free, but we can only request books. They got rid of media requests awhile ago.

I would not mind paying a small fee per item ($1 or so) because I mainly use it preview items I am considering buying. It would still be cheaper in the long run to try stuff through ILL than buy it and hate it.

Random addition: I have a book out from ILL now that is only in a handful of libraries around the country and is worth a ton of money (Teaching with Calvin and Hobbes). I never thought another library would actually send it to me and was completely shocked when they did. I've been so scared I'm going to ruin it or something and end up with a 1k library bill lol.

#34 LibraryLover

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:23 PM

Our ILL is free, but we can only request books. They got rid of media requests awhile ago.
.


Don't scare me! We get so many Teaching Company vids via ILL.

#35 Sebastian (a lady)

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:24 PM

Holey Moley...the city we're probably moving to next summer (Alexandria, VA) charges $5 per. My kiddos were preschool last time we lived there and we were happy with our small local selection then.


But you can also get a Fairfax Co Library card and that system rocks. I never need I'LL because so much is in FCPL.

#36 *Inna*

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:30 PM

Ours used to charge 50 cents per book, but for a couple of years now it's free. I'm so happy about that.

I'm shocked to see some of the previous replies. Up to $10?! What's the point then?

#37 soror

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 02:59 AM

Ours was free, then they started charging and now it is free again. I remember one book I was going to request was $10 or so. Now, we can have up to 5 ILLs checked out at a time and it is free. I believe they said that they received a grant of some sort to make this possible. I try to make good use of this as they often don't have what I want. I do have to pay $35 per year for library use though as we live out of city limits.

#38 GailV

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 07:18 AM

OK...back the truck up...does an ILL loan only refer to books that are OUTSIDE your library system?? My only requests since we have lived here have been for books within our system just at other branches. Would this not incur a fee? If so, I am a much happier gal!:001_smile: And if this is, in fact, the case, I must seem very whiny for making an issue of $1. :tongue_smilie: At our previous base overseas, they referred to all books coming in from other libraries as ILL. Same thing in Ohio. I may just be confused with terminology.


When I think of ILL, I think of loans between library systems. If your system only has one branch, then anything coming from anywhere else would be an ILL.

We have a county-wide library system here, and it ships from branch to branch --- trucks run every day of the week delivering the books back and forth, because we can also return books to every branch. It all uses the same computer system, so as a library user I just get on the system (usually from home) and request they ship the item to whatever branch is the most convenient for me. It's just a matter of someone at the branch that has the book grabbing the book off the shelf, putting it in the bin that's going to my branch, then my branch puts a marker on it that I've requested it and notifies me, at which time I go to the library and check it out.

But there is also another system within our county -- a consortium of smaller libraries -- and it I want a book from them I have to either use WorldCat or get on THEIR computer system, find the book, then fill out an ILL form for the book to be sent to MY system. That's an ILL because their library is loaning it to my library, which then lets me use it for a while. It has to come in through the main branch of my library, be checked into the ILL system, then is sent to my branch for my use. The book (or whatever) is actually checked out from the lending library TO MY LIBRARY SYSTEM (not to me) and my library system has to keep track of it -- the lending library isn't involved with me.


My library system and the consortium have a reciprocal agreement -- they freely reciprocate loaning of books and other items. They probably figure it comes out about even since they both have plenty of patrons who want books from each other. Also, we're all close enough together that they probably have some sort of delivery system that runs regularly and is relatively inexpensive.

Back in the day -- in the 1980s and 1990s --- if I wanted a book that was available somewhere else in the U.S., the library would've probably use the OCLC system, which is the same system that brings you WorldCat (I can access this from home via my local library computer system -- it lists books from all over the world and tells which library they're at). There's a specialized part of that computer system that generates a request form -- when the library generated that request form, it cost about $1 simply to make the request. Then the library could use the form to request the book from up to 5 other libraries in hopes that one of them would send it (and if none of them did, they'd make another request from 5 more libraries, which would cost another $1). The other libraries would have varying policies on whether they wanted to charge to loan a book/copy an article (or even if they wanted to ship various types of media). Often libraries had reciprocal agreements, but some libraries are net lenders (meaning EVERYONE wants their stuff, and they don't want much of anyone else's stuff -- I imagine, for example, Harvard would be a net lender) and charge something like $10 or $20 to ship an item (this was 15-20 years ago, keep in mind).

So, okay, let's say that other library decides to check out the book to yours for "free" or some reasonable cost. After answering "yes" on the OCLC system they then check it out to their Interlibrary Loan system, which then keeps track of where the heck the book is going (it is now unavailable to their own patrons for several weeks while it treks around the country, by the way), package and ship it (we used to use Library Rate, which is even lower than Media Rate, which tells you how speedy it is -- but it was also cheaper -- I think the USPS eliminated it, though), the borrowing library has to check it in to themselves on the OCLC system, then get it to the library patron (you) using whatever system they use to keep track of who has books that actually belong to other libraries. The book has a date on it that the lending library expects it back (since one day their own patrons might like to see it again). Your library has to gauge how long it's going to take from the time you hand the book back to them until they get it back to the place in their system that keeps track of ILLs, package it up, notify the lending library that it's on its way (so if it doesn't show up they know to check the shipping system for lose rather than the borrowing library), ship it, have it arrive back safely to the lending library, discharge it off of the OCLC system, discharge it from their own check out system, re-shelve it.

My library is responsible to the lending library if I'm late returning the book, tear it up, lost it, or whatever -- the lending library has no clue who I am. They just know the reputation of my library as a borrowing library.

I imagine the system has changed some since I was involved -- I quit in 1995 when dd was born. But today when I place an ILL request at my local library for something from another state, I can still see evidence that much is the same -- sometimes there are tags on the books declaring that it's from another system and checked out to our SYSTEM (not to me), for example. And my library is a little paranoid that I return the book promptly and in good condition. And I know that many, many people have handled the book and updated various computer systems regarding the book in order to get it to my hands.

Sometimes books from other systems set our library's security alarms off even though they're properly checked out. Maybe that's the easiest way to think of it -- if it sets off the alarm, it probably is a loan from one system to another.

#39 NanceXToo

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 07:39 AM

That stinks. :( Mine is still free, thank goodness, because I use it all.the.time. I'm really grateful for it! If there were a charge, I'd probably stop using it except for extremely rarely.

#40 Mommy22alyns

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 12:44 PM

Ours charges $1 payable at the time the ILL request is made. We have a very good ILL system that connects all public libraries throughout the province, but it costs libraries to ship the books around. Some libraries waive the fee if the book is in one of their branches. Since ours is a stand-alone library and not part of a regional system, we charge the $1 to cover the postage. When we take an ILL request, there is a box to check and a line to indicate if you are willing to pay more (and how much more) if the book is not available in the province. If they check "no," then we don't look outside the province. In all cases, if the book is not available (either across the country or just in the province if they don't want to pay extra), the request is cancelled and the $1 fee is returned.



Ours is also nonrefundable. So you basically have to gamble that they'll be able to find it, because if they can't, you're out the money.

#41 kilo90

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:03 PM

Thanks for all the helpful posts. (Thanks Gail, yours was extremely thorough!) This is all very interesting to me indeed!

#42 Audrey

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:34 PM

Ours is also nonrefundable. So you basically have to gamble that they'll be able to find it, because if they can't, you're out the money.


Oh. That doesn't seem quite fair to me. The $1 is to cover postage. The time spent looking for the book is a standard service. That is why we return the $1 if we can't get the book for you.

#43 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:39 PM

Ours charges if the lending library charges. Otherwise, they don't. When I put in a request, I have to put in the dollar amount that I am willing to pay if it becomes necessary. They usually try for the free ones first.

#44 Word Nerd

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:50 PM

Ours doesn't charge, but they also don't fulfill all of the requests I make. I wouldn't mind having the option of paying a few bucks if it meant I could get the ILL item.

#45 Audrey

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:07 PM

Ours doesn't charge, but they also don't fulfill all of the requests I make. I wouldn't mind having the option of paying a few bucks if it meant I could get the ILL item.



But sometimes it just isn't possible to obtain the book. There are a lot of reasons why you can't get an item that aren't your library's fault. But, 90% of your chances of getting your ILL have to do with the book you requested.

There are some libraries who might not be willing to lend the item and if they are the only ones on the system with the book, you just aren't going to get it.

Sometimes, a library may have an internal policy that they won't pursue ILL items that will charge over a certain amount. There are libraries (especially university libraries) that charge $10, $15, $25 OR MORE to send an ILL item. If your library has a policy of not charging the patron, then they have to have an internal policy to keep their own costs in line.

Sometimes, the item you want may be on hold at the other library or out at the other library. There is usually an internal policy that if ILL's will take longer than x days or weeks to arrive, then the requests are cancelled because it is too long to hold on to that paperwork, and/or too long to make the patron wait.

Sometimes, what you asked for simply isn't available within their ILL system. Not every single library in the country is connected to one big ILL. Some are limited to state/provincial systems, some are even more limited than that. Rarely are professional or university libraries included in public library ILL systems.

If it bothers you that you couldn't get a book through ILL, ask them why. They should be able to give you a reasonable answer.

#46 Word Nerd

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:26 PM

I wasn't making any accusations or criticizing my library. I also never said I was upset.

#47 Birdwinglips

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:32 PM

No charges with our system. And you can return them to any library in the system as well.

#48 BatmansWife

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 09:31 PM

Our library doesn't charge. I hope it never does. We use at least once a week if not more. Oldest dd makes requests for books and music cd's all the time. I use it for movies. We rarely ever go to the theater. When we see a commercial for a new movie...we always say we'll watch it when we can get it from the library (1 week loan for free). We request movies all the time. We especially like getting old movie series; like Columbo, Quantum Leap, etc. I request everything online. You just type in the title, and you can see what libraries in our system have it and put in your request. You can also use the website for renewals. I check the site daily to see what library item is due that day. It's great!

#49 kitten18

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 10:11 PM

When I think of ILL, I think of loans between library systems. If your system only has one branch, then anything coming from anywhere else would be an ILL.

We have a county-wide library system here, and it ships from branch to branch --- trucks run every day of the week delivering the books back and forth, because we can also return books to every branch. It all uses the same computer system, so as a library user I just get on the system (usually from home) and request they ship the item to whatever branch is the most convenient for me. It's just a matter of someone at the branch that has the book grabbing the book off the shelf, putting it in the bin that's going to my branch, then my branch puts a marker on it that I've requested it and notifies me, at which time I go to the library and check it out.

:iagree: That is how it works here.

#50 GailV

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 10:15 PM

Oh. That doesn't seem quite fair to me. The $1 is to cover postage. The time spent looking for the book is a standard service. That is why we return the $1 if we can't get the book for you.


Where I used to do ILL, we considered the $1 payment for the cost to form the request on OCLC. Once the request was put into the OCLC system, the $1 was "spent", so to speak, since OCLC would charge our library regardless of what the outcome was. We didn't charge extra if we had to try several times to get an item (back then you only had 5 spots on the OCLC request form to fill with library names, and some libraries insisted their names take up 2 or 3 spots in a row since it took them a week or more to figure out if they had the item and could lend it out -- the request stayed at each named spot for 4 working days, so having 2 spots in a row gave them extra time). Does the OCLC system still charge libraries for the request capability?

Anyway, it's possible the library in question considers the $1 payment for something other than postage.

Having said that, I'm not sure it's fair to keep the $1. Sometimes you could tell by the requests that came through that the person on the other end of the OCLC request hadn't done a really good job of looking for something for their patron -- had made a poor choice of OCLC cataloging record to attach the request to, hadn't bothered to read the lending library's policies to see if there was any chance at all of getting the item from them, etc., etc. I mean, I wasn't exactly God's gift to ILL and even *I* could see mistakes others made.