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University Libraries - News, Events & Exhibits

Have you met...Amber Cook, Head of Interlibrary Loan

Jun 20, 2013 7:02 AM

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free service for USC faculty, students and staff who need an item – article, book, DVD – that the USC Libraries do not own.

“In Interlibrary Loan, the biggest changes I’ve seen are greater access to collections in other countries through the Web,” said Amber Cook, standing in the photo at left. “When I first started working here in 2006, we were really all about educating our patrons on how to use our services to get the items they needed. Now we can fulfill requests quickly, in a more seamless way, without the patron having to learn about any process. We’ve absorbed that responsibility for the patron, and that’s a positive, excellent thing that is happening.”

“We’ve created two separate online forms for our two services -- Scan & Deliver, and ILL – that patrons can fill out quickly and easily to get an item they need. We also want to make it as easy as possible for someone who thinks they will use something regularly. They can fill out an online request that we purchase an item.”

“We can borrow from libraries all over the world, which is great for our patrons, but we do have to be careful how much we spend in copyright fees. We can get up to five articles that are in periodicals that are five years old or less without paying copyright fees. After that, we have to pay. We also have to pay fees to belong to the consortiums we join in order to gain access to all these items, such as PASCAL, the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries, which gives us shared access to items in South Carolina’s academic and state libraries.”