John Prentice, Library Manager, ANZCA
For his project – Automated interlibrary loan/document delivery (ILL/DD) database for health libraries
Using MS Access, John Prentice has created a low-cost interlibrary loan/document delivery database that automates both the typical article search, request, and communication process for a health library, and the requesting mechanism for most ILL/DD networks/systems.
Using the example of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Library as a case study, this database has enabled the automation of a previously almost entirely manual process. With a volume of over 1640 article requests from a user base of approximately 7500 fellows and trainees, the ANZCA Library has significantly reduced the turnaround time to the requestor, saving staff time and providing quality clinical information in a timely manner.
- Articles submitted by the requestor through an online form (separate to the database) are ingested directly into the ILL/DD database. Requests are predominantly pre-populated from the library’s discovery service, avoiding errors and retyping by the requestor as well as for staff.
- Articles requested through the most common ILL/DD network databases via direct linking.
- Checklist of ILL/DD suppliers ensuring all avenues are used according to preference and enabling easy tracking of difficult requests, especially if handled by more than one library staff member.
- Patron database with key user details.
- Journal list with key identification information.
- Automated email notifications throughout all stages of the request process, including article delivery to requestor.
- Built-in statistical reporting on turnaround time, requestor types, and costs.
- Copyright compliance.
- Automated notes, which can be manually edited/added to.
The greatest benefit has been the saving in staff time spent on repetitive tasks; tasks such as copying and pasting article details into the various requesting platforms for searching/request purposes have been massively reduced. This has freed up library staff resourcing so that more time can be spent harnessing their specialised skills, both on sourcing harder to find articles and for work on other projects, new initiatives and continuous improvement of the library services.
The award monies would be used to further enhance the ILLS manager application with regards to hosting the application in Office 365 and scaling it for use, whilst also retaining its low cost benefits and in-house customisability.
Congratulations John! and thanks to MedicalDirector
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