A Proposal to Improve the Delivery Time and Fill Rate of
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Requests for Current Monographs
December 10, 1999


Conduct a six month trial, January-June 2000, to implement and assess the benefit of placing rush orders for the purchase of c1999 and c2000 monographs not owned by Rutgers and requested by users on interlibrary loan.

Interlibrary Loan Services (ILS) staff in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden will identify the requests and place rush orders with Acquisitions, place RRS requests on behalf of the users for titles on order in IRIS, and gather data for interlibrary loan and collection assessment. Orders will be charged to the ILS central fund account (ILMX). It is estimated $6,000-8,000 will be needed to conduct the trial.

Background & Analysis

Interlibrary Loan requests for current monographs take longer than standard ILL monograph requests to fill. Requests must be forwarded to more than one library before an available copy is located. Two reasons are given by potential lenders for not filling an ILL request for a current monograph. First, the libraries' policies are to reserve current imprints for local patron use and not lend them on interlibrary loan. Second, the requested title is checked out, an indication of demand for it within the academic community at large. Some ILL requests for current monographs must be canceled because the title has not yet been published. When users ask for forthcoming titles on interlibrary loan they are asked to re-submit their request in 60 days.

An analysis of Rutgers interlibrary loan monograph requests for c1998 and c1999 imprints, received between January and April 1999 in New Brunswick, was conducted. A total of 108 requests were placed, with 22 (20%) placed by undergraduates, 48 (44%) placed by graduate students, and 38 (35%) placed by faculty and staff. Of this total, 8 (7%) were for humanities monographs, 66 (61%) were for social science monographs, and 34 (32%) were for science monographs. Of the 108 requests received, 86 (80%) were filled and 22 (20%) were canceled because the titles were not yet published. On average, it took 34 days to fill the 86 completed ILL requests for current monographs.

The 108 titles were then searched on IRIS and 15 (14%) had subsequently been ordered for the RUL collections. A search on revealed 90 titles (83%) were available for purchase. The aggregate cost of titles available on totaled $4,163.65. The average cost of a title was $ 46.26. Using the price as a guideline, it is estimated approximately $ 12,491 would be needed to purchase current imprint monographs requested on interlibrary loan in New Brunswick for one year. A six-month trial involving the participation of the Interlibrary Loan Services offices in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden would require approximately $8,000.

Summary of Procedures

When a user requests a monograph with c1999 or c2000 imprint that is not available at RUL, ILS staff in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden will stamp "RUSH Order - ILS" on the paper copy of the ILL request and fax it to Acquisitions.

Acquisitions will follow standard procedures for placing a rush order, and charge the order to the central ILL fund account (ILMX). Titles will be cataloged to the following libraries based on origin of ILL request and discipline: Camden ILS- Robeson; Newark ILS- Dana; NB ILS:-Alexander (Humanities & Social Science), LSM (Science), etc.

Acquisitions will fax the ILL request form back to the ILS office with notification of its status– "on order" or "unable to order." If the item can not be orderd, ILS staff will proceed with an interlibrary loan or cancel the request. If the title has been ordered, ILS staff will place an RRS request for it on the user's behalf in IRIS (standard procedures are in place to process RRS requests for "on order" titles and ship them to the user's pickup library).


From the paper forms and weekly monitoring of request statuses in Unicorn, ILS staff will record the dates on which an ILL request is placed, an item is ordered, an RRS request is placed and filled, and an ILL request is canceled or filled. An assessment will be made of the elapsed time for each stage of the process as well as the overall time it takes to fill a request.

A list of titles ordered will be produced and analyzed by requestor status, discipline, and cost. Selectors will be asked to review the titles purchased and assess their impact on collection development.

Respectively submitted,

Judy Gardner, Head, University Libraries Access and Interlibrary Services
Stephanie Tama, Graduate Assistant, Public Services and Communications
Jane Mihalick, Interlibrary Loan Services Manager
Nicky Spruill, Interlibrary Loan Services Borrowing Coordinator

Attachments: New Brunswick ILL Requests for c1998 and c1999 Monographs, Jan-Apr. 1999 - Summary
New Brunswick ILL Requests for c1998 and c1999 Monographs, Jan-Apr. 1999 - Search Results on IRS and, June 1999
New Brunwick ILL Requests for c1998 and c199 Monographs, Jan.-Apr. 1999

New Brunswick ILL Requests for c1998 and c1999 Monographs, Jan.-April 1999

# ugrad requests# grad requests# facstf requestsTOTAL# canceled# filledavg. days to fill
humanities05380833 days
social sciences13322166125436 days
science9111434102434 days
TOTAL224838108228634 days

New Brunswick ILL Requests for c1998 and c1999 Monographs, Jan.-April 1999
Searches Results on IRIS and, June 1999

# cataloged or on order in IRIS# listed on amazon.comtotal cost amazon.comavg. cost/ book
social sciences1255$2,277.52$41.41

New Brunswick ILL Requests for c1998 and c1999 Monographs - Jan., Feb, Mar., Apr. 1999 (in Adobe PDF format)


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