Inter-Library What?

In my not-so-surprising Senior scramble to get in all my assignments, I’m back again with a post on the happenings here in the Info Center. About two months ago, Marjie introduced me to another secret society of librarianship that most people have no clue exist: Inter-Library Loan Librarians.

The purpose of Inter-Library Loan (ILL) is to allow library patrons everywhere access all the books and reference materials they need, even if they are out of their library’s typical consortion. My state of New Hampshire has an ILL program that our high school participates in regularly; sometimes we request books to be sent to us, sometimes we lend books out for others. Most of our inter-library loan cases are for book club, and for Senior Project.

Senior Project is a graduation requirement for seniors, and is basically a year-long research and application project. Topics range from affects of sleep on the teenage brain, to saving marine mammals; from reforestation, to body image. Each senior is allowed to choose a topic in which they are most interested to research, and from there, they must create an application of their learning, and finally, give a presentation on their project. So, like all great research projects, students need reliable and focused reference materials. And while our library has a wide variety of non-fiction titles, we can’t have every book that a senior might want to use for Senior Project. Same goes for our school’s book club (of which I am the proud president). We don’t typically have 20-25 copies of the books we want to read in book club, so we need to borrow from lots of libraries from all over the state. In both cases, we turn to ILL.

Logging on the interface, Marjie taught me how to navigate the website. After searching for the title, author, or subject of your choice, you can go through a project to request that title from multiple libraries. She showed me how to track the requests, and how to tell if the requests have been filled. She also showed me our personal record of ILL requests, which she keeps to make sure students are held accountable for the titles we request for them. She showed me how to return an ILL as well; how to write the return slip for the book as well as how to enter the title back into the system.

It was fun to see another part of being a librarian, especially something that goes on behind the curtain! Marjie was on vacation for a week in April, and while she away, I got to take care of the various ILL requests. It was neat for me to learn a new system, and a super helpful one for students!

Be back soon with my (gasp) last post!

~Julie

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