Behind the scenes of college’s interlibrary loan staff, process

Whether it is for a research paper, senior thesis or just basic curiosity, Maryville College students have the resource of interlibrary loans (ILL), which involve the process of materials being borrowed from, or lent to, other libraries.

Roger Myers, Marina Jaffe and Neena Teaster make up the ILL team at MC.

“For any student that has found or located some form of data that is not locally here at the Maryville College library, we can and will get it from another,” Myers said. “This is especially helpful in some of the upper level courses because some of the information needed must be rendered from another sources.”

At MC’s Lamar Alexander library, there is only so much information. By limiting students to only that information, they would be inclined to have repeated or overused information across the board in research papers and theses.

“Interlibrary loan opens up a whole new world of information in order to avoid overlapping ideas” Teaster said.

There are some basic guidelines that one should be aware of prior to taking advantage of this program, however.

First of all, The ILL team will only request items that are not accessible by the MC library. Also, ILL does not borrow textbooks via this program. Other rules and regulations can be viewed via the MC library page.

Additionally, should a student need assistance with how to request an article, book or journal, the ILL team said that they offer personal help daily.

“One of the best parts about ILL is that once all the forms are filled out and the request is processed, the student is notified via email,” Jaffe said. “That is very convenient. It takes a total of about one day to one week to receive article requests and about one to two weeks for books due to snail mail.”

In this year alone, 1,334 requested journals and books requested via interlibrary loan. 167 copies of pages from books have been requested on the last four months, a large increase since its introduction.

“For decades, this system has been in place,” Myers said. “I have been here at Maryville for over 20 years and it was going fairly strong when I got here.”

Librarian U.L. Rowell originally invented the concept in 1886 in California at Berkley. According to Rowell’s writings, he needed more information and submitted a request from another library through his local one. The program was accepted as a permanent fixture in continental U.S. libraries in 1894, and adopted by MC in 2011.

“Student tuition covers any postage costs that might be associated with a loan from another library,” Myers said.

Some of the local libraries that ILL works closely with are UT’s library, ETSU and The University of Memphis. However, Myers said that there is no limit in distance, either, in the request of the loan documents.

“We have received many loans from other state libraries and some from other continents, as well,” Teaster said. “We got one last semester from Australia and I remember a few from Europe a few semesters back, too.”

According to Jaffe, there is no limit in which the ILL team can pull data from.

“Since the E-article interface has been put into place, students are finding brand new avenues of information and research that would not have been possible to find without ILL,” Jaffe said.

With a plethora of resources, the ILL team at MC’s library said that they are committed to helping students with their research endeavors, and encourage them to visit the ILL page on the Lamar Alexander Library page on the college’s website.

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