I manage a small branch of a county-wide system, and
we greatly depend on video ILLs to satisfy our patrons
and boost our circulation.
One effort made to soften the need for ILLs is the
sharing of rotating video collections. Such
collections satisfy the patrons in giving them fresh
titles to borrow, and in the end, eliminates much of
the ILL traffic flow and paperwork, which is where we
find that we have the most problems losing items.
Our system is fairly efficient with turnaround
time...about one month maximum.
Since we would be lost without ILLs, we always
reciprocate, and we are fairly flexible with regard to
return dates and locations, and we have had very few
Regarding School and University Libraries:
As we are proximal with many schools, we work with
them almost as an extension of ourselves and borrow
back and forth extensively.
But the primary difference seems to be in the type of
materials borrowed. Most university and public school
materials seem to be educational. And most, but not
all, of our collection is entertainment oriented. But
frequently, we are the instrument of loans between the
local university and the schools.
In my experience, the university libraries appear to
be the most resistant to lend to public libraries and
patrons. But overall, they don't intersect as much
because of the nature of the materials.
In the Future:
I can see where many libraries will be reviewing their
policies with the addition of DVDs and the extent to
which they may cause other materials, such as 16 mm or
limited VHS editions, to become "out of print"
materials, much like rare books, while at the same
time, the DVD technology is still a bit pricey and
novel, and may pose a risk to public circulation and
J. A. Babay,
The Centre Hall Area Branch Library
Centre Hall, PA
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