Source - Sourcing inter-library loans

Sourcing inter-library loans

Capita’s Source for libraries is a lightweight, low cost collaborative tool for finding material in your peer’s libraries throughout the UK. It also provides the optional function for requesting inter-library loans for those items. Source can be used alongside any library management system and is available to any UK library, public or academic.

Very few libraries can aspire to hold enough stock to meet all their user needs. A well-tuned stock selection procedure in a public library, or good academic liaison in an academic library, ensures most requests can be met: but not always. Sometimes material must be sourced from elsewhere.

Libraries have stock to meet most needs most of the time, but there are exceptions. For example, the local retired person with an interest in an obscure author, or the post-doc academic following a non-traditional line of research.

In some cases, such material may be purchased specially, such as a new title that is likely to create further interest. Sometimes material is sourced from the British Library directly via the library management system. These approaches can be costly, and in some situations, even the British Library option may be cumbersome and expensive to follow.

This is where Capita’s Source comes in. Key functions of Source:

  • Locates materials in peer libraries at no cost
  • Facilitates collaborative working: contributes your holdings and search contributions made by everyone else all for free
  • Subscribers can request materials from other libraries or from the British Library
  • Easy to use: Search interface is very straightforward for your library staff to operate

There are two levels of membership to Capita’s Source:

Search-only membership

This is available at no cost and registration is required. The only stipulations are for each member library contributes their own stock holdings to the Source database, and provide an email address and further details so other Source users can, in turn, request material from the new member.

The “search-only” level of membership enables you to identify libraries holding copies of the title you are looking for. Once the item is identified, the actual inter-library loan request is then handled manually.

Search and request membership

The “search and request” level of membership adds to the search functions, providing the option of composing and sending loan requests to one or more peer libraries. This supports a “round-robin” approach where a request can be routed through several libraries in until one is found able and willing to satisfy the request.

There is even a function included to order directly from the British Library .This is useful for libraries whose systems do not include automated ordering from the this institution. A small annual charge is levied for this level of service.