This poster highlights the patterns of interlibrary loan (ILL) use by one institution’s history department.
Systematic improvements were made to ILL services at one institution and as a result, overall confidence in and use of the services increased. As the library worked to continuously make enhancements and review and revise workflows, the Humanities Librarian ramped up instruction efforts to further drive ILL service awareness. Primarily, patrons responded by increasing their ILL requests for non-returnables such as articles which are delivered electronically, generally within 24 hours. Returnables, such as printed monographs take longer, but arrive on average within five business days.
Despite vastly improved ILL turnaround times for all materials and instructional efforts in raising awareness of the improvements, some patrons, especially those in disciplines that rely on print monographs such as the History Department, remained reluctant to make ILL requests. To find out why, the library’s Humanities and Access Services Librarians undertook a study of history faculty and their capstone students’ use of ILL services.
This presentation uses charts and graphs to illustrate the results of a survey of this target population. The survey gauges awareness and assesses user perceptions of the ILL services over a two year period. Survey results are cross-referenced with actual ILL use statistics with an aim to aggregate reality vs. perception in the use of ILL services among local historians and their students. Changes of perceptions, awareness, and confidence in ILL services over the study period are also depicted.