RLG/OCLC Reference and
Interlibrary Loan Working Group:
The RLG/OCLC Reference and Interlibrary Loan Working Group was formed to conduct a review and comparison
of services from the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
(OCLC). Specifically, members of the group are to consider the reference, interlibrary loan, and other
offerings from each organization that support public services at the Rutgers University Libraries.
In addition to the Reference and Interlibrary Loan Working Group, several working groups have been
established in technical services, and a joint working group of public and technical services librarians
is studying the vision, business plan, general responsiveness, and other similar activities of both
organizations. A combination of documentation review, library telephone calls and site visits, and
visits with RLG and OCLC both locally and at professional meetings are part of the evaluation.
The following questions are among those that need to be addressed by the Reference and Interlibrary Loan
Working Group. The group is encouraged to comment on other areas as they are discovered.
- How rich is each online union catalog, and which of Rutgers peer institutions and lending partners
participate? To what extent do they each support Rutgers research and instruction programs? Is linking
to Rutgers resources, including IRIS and full text resources, available?
- What unique, research resources and services are offered? How does the level of bibliographic access
to cultural, archival, and other unique materials compare? n What document delivery services and
software are available for providing access to materials through interlibrary loan, document suppliers,
or library archives? How are they presented and integrated? How would such services and software
integrate with current Rutgers processes and with planned statewide services? How do RLIN and OCLC
assist with identifying materials and locations and then creating, sending, and tracking requests? Is
one or the other preferred? Consider Rutgers expanding use of Ariel and growing reliance on ILL Manager,
a peer-to-peer software that enables integration of various ILL lending systems and provides management
information for public services and collection development. Does OCLC have equivalents? What are the
comparative costs? How would more intense participation in OCLC document delivery services affect our
SHARES net borrower status?
- What onsite access programs does each organization provide? Are there reciprocal visiting and
borrowing privileges? For which categories of user? How does each program compare in terms of which
institutions and collections are available to Rutgers users? What are the comparative costs?\
- What reference - abstracts, indexes, and bibliography - databases are provided, and how do they match
Rutgers current suite of indexes and databases? How do the interfaces compare? What are the comparative
costs? How does the RLG OpenURL function compare with linking functions available for WorldCat and
FirstSearch? What are the comparative costs for these linking services? How are they invoked and
- What Web development and support services are provided? Are ready-made resources offered, and are they
excellent? Are there services that will help Rutgers select, organize, and present Web resources?
Consider availability of database descriptions and updating services, management of URL changes, access
to such documentation as title lists and tutorials, electronic journal management and presentation
services. How will this work with the Sirsi link platform? Is appropriate customization possible? What
are the costs for such services?
- What other services and software are available to support public service activities and facilitate
development of an integrated digital library at Rutgers? For example, are there linking services that
can assist in providing access to full-text resources Rutgers creates?
- What training opportunities are provided? Is training available for librarians and staff, for end
users, or in a train the trainer mode? Where is the training offered - at the organization or locally at
Rutgers? What are the costs?
- What opportunities and obligations are there for librarian and staff participation? What support is
provided for librarian and staff work? Do RLG or OCLC facilitate the development of Partnerships: with
The working group is expected to produce a written report with recommendations submitted to Grace Agnew,
Associate University Librarian for Digital Library Systems, and Jeanne Boyle Associate University
Librarian for Public Services and Communications.