ILL Committee Liaison Report--National Library of Canada

2002 Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA

1. National Library of Canada

Cross border shipping

We are still experiencing problems with National Library materials being shipped back to Canada via UPS. In many cases the paperwork is not correctly filled out by the shipping library with the result that we are being invoiced to get our own materials back, materials that we loaned free of charge in the first place. We have been discussing the problem with UPS officials in order to find a solution and we are preparing written instructions on how to complete the paperwork to avoid these charges; these instructions will be included with all international loans. In the meantime, we are returning invoices to UPS and asking them to bill the shipping library.

Digital ILL Pilot Project

The digital ILL pilot project is still ongoing but progress has been slow. In response to ILL requests we have successfully tested scanning and sending out short documents electronically via email. And we have also successfully posted documents to the Web via the Relais Document Management System; this option is being used for documents that are too long to email. We hope to purchase a new book cradle scanner this year, which should help to move the project along more quickly.


New AMICUS modules for Serials Control, Circulation, Acquisitions and an OPAC were launched on May 6, giving NLC a completely integrated library system. The existing AMICUS ILL module now has an interface with the circulation module, allowing ILL searchers to see what the circulation status of a specific item is before completing an ILL request. This allows us to respond quickly with an explanation and suggestions for alternate locations when a requested item is missing or out on loan. As with any new system, there are bugs to be worked out, but initial reactions from users are extremely positive.

Interoperability testing

The National Library has successfully completed interoperability testing with the following ILL software packages:

a) RSS
b) RLG's ILL Manager
c) VDX
d) Pigasus, now defunct
e) Lac Viet in Vietnam

Interoperability testing with OCLC is ongoing and is scheduled to undergo a second phase of testing in June. The National Library is currently exchanging version 2 protocol messages with RSS and Pigasus libraries in Canada.

2. Canadian National Site Licensing Project

The Canadian National Site Licensing Project (CNSLP) is a digital library initiative, established by the Canadian research library community to increase the capacity for research and innovation in Canada. Its mission is to expand the universe of digital research information to Canada's academic research community, through the co-ordinated services and expertise of academic libraries. Through innovative licensing agreements, CNSLP has negotiated desktop access to electronic versions of scholarly journals and research databases, primarily in science, engineering, health, and environmental disciplines for 64 participating universities across Canada. Currently, more than 750 scholarly journals are available online to over 650,000 university researchers, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students.

At its November 2001 meeting, the CNSLP Steering Committee developed a strategy for transition from a pilot project to a permanent program, based on broad directions endorsed unanimously by CNSLP member libraries. Action plans are now underway to expand CNSLP and to increase the scholarly content it makes available to Canadian researchers. More information on CNSLP can be found at

3. Canadian University Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement

Effective May 1, 2002, Canadian university libraries have agreed to extend in-person borrowing privileges to students, faculty and staff from across Canada. All that is required for borrowing is a valid university identification card. Other library services may be available in addition to borrowing privileges and some fees may apply. Graduate students, faculty and staff are entitled to borrowing privileges at any participating library. With certain exceptions in Ontario, undergraduate students are entitled to borrowing privileges at participating libraries in all provinces except Quebec. See for fuller details.

4. Electronic Library Network

The British Columbia (BC) Electronic Library Network (ELN) conducted a survey on resource sharing in November 2001 among its 32 partner libraries. Results of the survey can be found at The project goals included streamlining interlending within the province's post-secondary sector and proposing efficiencies in delivery methods throughout the province.

5. Library Book Rate

Through an agreement with the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Post provides a discount to libraries mailing print materials to their users or other libraries. In February 2002, following extensive negotiations, a new three-year deal was reached with Canada Post. The three year deal will see the current mailing rate for libraries increase by 6.8% in 2002, 0% in 2003, and 6.3% in 2004, an overall increase of 13.1%. It was hoped that non-print materials would be included in the new agreement, but discussions continue on this point.

6. Canadian Library Association (CLA)


The CLA annual conference will be held this year in Halifax, Nova Scotia from June 19th to the 22nd. The theme of this year's conference is "Inventing our future". The conference program will centre around five streams: policy, technology, human resources, services and Atlantic Canada. Conference information can be found at

And don't forget: in June of 2003 CLA will hold its annual conference in conjunction with the ALA in Toronto Ontario, June 19-25, 2003. The conference programs and major social events will be planned jointly by the two Associations, with the hope of increasing knowledge about one another and the issues of the profession on both side of the border. Information on Toronto, a terrific city with lots to offer visitors (not to mention the extremely advantageous US$ exchange rate) can be found at We are very excited about welcoming you to Canada!

Resource Sharing Interest Group

Gwen Bird started a new job in January and will be handing over her duties as convenor of the CLA Resource Sharing Interest Group to Jeff Barber at the University of Saskatchewan,

Submitted by
Carol Smale
A/Director-General, Research and Information Services
National Library of Canada