A survey in 1974 of the 47 charter members of the OCLC network, including site visits and interviews (148) with all levels of library personnel in member libraries, showed that44% of the ILL librarians indicated that use of the OCLC data base resulted in noticeable, though slight, decreases in the processing and receipt time for monographs.                         (Source)

A study of ILL in New England of all types of libraries in 1976 (sample size: 191; usable responses: 113 or 58%), of requests generated in a month, showed thatthe average in-house turnaround time (from receipt of request to mailing item) was 2.5 days, with more than 85% of all requests answered within 3 days and 32% answered in less than a day.                 (Source)

A study reported in 1980 of interlibrary borrowing of monographs among 7 libraries in west-central Illinois (West-Central Illinois Library Cooperative) involving 4,146 blind search requests for materials during a 1-year period in 1977-78 showed thatthe fill rate for 426 items that could not be obtained through the Cooperative and were subsequently requested via the ALA form from a single location known to have the item was 284 items or 66.7% with an average delivery time of 15.9 days. This compared to use of the OCLC/ILL subsystem for 70 requests sent up to 5 known locations, which had a fill rate of 65 items (92.9%) with an average delivery time of 10.8 days.                 (Source)

A 1980-81 study of interlibrary loan requests generated through the OCLC Library during a 7-month period, involving 254 serial requests and 255 monographic requests (total requests: 509), showed thatof those items found the time lag between the date of request and the date of receipt was 11.6 days.                  (Source)


A study reported in 1973 at the University of Calgary Library (Canada) comparing interlibrary loan requests sent to the National Lending Library for Science and Technology (England) and those sent to Canadian (and sometimes U.S.) libraries (sample size: 50 requests to each) showed thatthe National Lending Library filled 46 (92%) requests in an average time of 19.5 days, while the Canadian (and U.S.) libraries filled 47 (94%) requests in an average time of 14.4 days.               (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that, of a further 8 articles that were requested from the National Lending Library using a Xerox Telecopier (photocopy sent over the phone lines), the time required to fill the requests from the time the telex was sent until the photocopy was received ranged from a half hour to 3 days. All requests were filled. Further, transmission was at the rate of 6 minutes per page in order to get readable copies.           (Source)

A 1976-77 study of the requests sent by the library at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to the Center for Research Libraries showed thatthe Journals Access Service was the service most successfully used, with 58.5% of the materials received coming from this CRL service. Average receipt time for photocopied materials through this service was 10-13 days.                      (Source)

A study reported in 1982 at the Paul Klapper Library in Queens College, CUNY, comparing ILL requests for off-campus material requested during a 3-month period in Fall 1979 (200 requests) and a 3-month period during Spring 1981 (333 requests), showed thatthe average number of calendar days between generating the ILL request and receipt of the item for 1979 and 1981, respectively, was 10.09 and 13.70 days using TWX service with other CUNY units, 17.01 and 16.33 days using OCLC, 19.50 and 19.60 days using the New York State ILL system, and 27.39 and 22.13 days using the ALA ILL procedure and form.               (Source)


A study reported in 1975 of interlibrary loan requests submitted to the Information Dissemination Service (serving the information needs of health professionals in a surrounding 9-county area) located in the Health Sciences Library of the State University of New York, Buffalo, broken down into 2 samples (sample A: all requests during a 3-month period in 1972 from 4 major teaching hospitals, 1,802 interlibrary loan requests; sample B: a 10% random sample of all requests from a broad group of health professionals over a 3-year period, 1970-73, 2,280 interlibrary loan requests), showed thatthe fill rate (books and journals combined) for sample A was 89.5% and for sample B was 97.1%. Further, 89.2% of the requests in sample A and 68.3% of the requests for sample B were filled within 2 working days.                         (Source)

Dr. David Kohl

 "Libraries in the digital age are experiencing the most profound transformation since ancient Mesopotamian scribes first began gathering and organizing cuneiform tablets."

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