Volume 25, Number 3, 2003

Road Map to ILL Services

reviewed by: Bruce Massis, SEFLIN

In the preface to Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery in the Larger Academic Library: A Guide for University, Research and Larger Public Libraries (The Haworth Information Press), Lee Andrew Hilyer writes that it: “ï¿Ã‚½is intended to serve primarily as a practical handbook for library staff members who are new to interlibrary loanï¿Ã‚½”

While the word, “basic” appears often in the work, it belies the comprehensive treatment of the subject. From the practical aspects of creating an ILL mission statement to patron borrowing policies, suggested loan periods, and the issue of fees and fines, to the actual organization and day-to-day operation of the department, Hilyer offers an accessible and highly readable road map to ILL services.

Hilyer correctly posits that ILL activity is increasing across the library spectrum. In the era of Amazon.com, with its promise of instant order fulfillment, ILL departments are under tremendous pressure to deliver on a similar timeline, thus the service takes on even greater significance.

The importance of understanding copyright and its implications for ILL are also considered in this book. ILL is an activity whose policy coincides with copyright law and Mr. Hilyer provides a primer in this area as well as offering a concise resource listing of web sites and published resources to consult for further clarification.

The book provides an excellent bibliography and the appendices extend to the reader a number of reference tools for the ILL staff member on issues such as “borrowing” and “lending” workflow suggestions and the reprinting of the National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, as well as supplementary materials to the code.

Mr. Hilyer has authored a superb and indeed, practical, resource that should become a standard, albeit dog-eared, reference tool for the ILL departments of our larger libraries. Bruce E. Massis, Associate Director, SEFLIN, is the author of The Practical Library Manager and co-editor of Interlibrary Loan of Alternative Format Materials: A Balanced Sourcebook. His forthcoming book is The Practical Library Trainer (all published by The Haworth Press). He is rather familiar with the word "practical."