How does it work? Magic and a complicated network of plastic tubing! Ok, no, that isn't true, either. The truth is that librarians play well together. If you find a book or article and we don't have it, we just ask another library to lend it to us. And they do, usually.
How do you request material? You stand in the atrium, twirl three times and say "I do believe in books!" No, no. That would be silly -- great fun for us to observe, but silly. You can request materials two ways. You can go to our website, select Library Services/ Interlibrary Loan and click on Place a Request. You will need the full item record (the description of the book or article), so you might want to print that page first. Alternatively, when you are searching a database and don't find the full text, you can click on to try to find it elsewhere. If it's not available, there is a link on the page to request the item through InterLibrary Loan. Click the link and request form will be automatically filled out.
How do you get the material? A stork delivers it to your doorstep! Um, you didn't even believe that a little, did you? Well, it is almost as easy as that. You'll get an email when your book has arrived and you can pick it up at the Circulation desk on the 1st floor of the library. If you have requested an article, it might be delivered right to your email.
How long does it take for books to arrive? 30 minutes or less? Nah, we aren’t a pizza joint, so it may take a bit longer. In reality it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. It depends on whether it is sent electronically or mailed from Romania (seriously). Most requests are available in about a week.
Does it seem like magic, the idea that you can get materials the library doesn’t own in a timely fashion with a minimum of fuss? Well it isn’t magic, it is just another amazing service your Walker Library staff provides for you. As for the hidden slide and mysterious fifth floor, that’s another story…
For more information on InterLibrary Loan look here.