Best Practices to Improve Lending Services

Written by the Minitex/MnLINK ILL Committee 2010.

Respondents to the best practices survey regarding lending practices emphasized prompt updating of interlibrary loan requests. Prompt updating was especially important for answer not supply (unfilled), renewal responses, will supply and messages.

Timely Updating of Lending Requests

A general trend in response to the best practices for lending libraries is an emphasis on prompt updating of interlibrary loan requests.

  • Library staff responding to the survey especially wanted a prompt response when an item could not be supplied. Those that responded with a timeline suggested as soon as possible or one to two days.
  • Additionally, prompt response was requested for renewal responses.
  • Responding to Messages in a timely manner was also identified as a key issue.
  • Monitor requests in Will Supply status. If the item can't be filled in a timely manner Answer Unfilled.

Some respondents provided the reason for a prompt response in answering unfilled or will supply because some patrons are under short timelines to use the items requested and need to know if this item will be available.

Suggestions for Best Practices for Workflow Improvement

  • Pay attention to the Note field for any special instructions.
  • Bill for items promptly; borrowing library should pay for items promptly.
  • When an item is sent identify if it can be renewed or can't be renewed.
  • Clearly marking the due date on the lending slip.
  • When in doubt as to the format or item to supply ask the borrowing library for information.
  • Maintain current interlibrary loan staff information on the Minitex/MnLINK ILL Policy database, your library homepage, and your interlibrary loan software.
  • Keep your ILL policy information updated on the Minitex/MnLINK ILL Policy database, OCLC ILL, and your library homepage.
  • Implement NCIP for VDX libraries wanting to streamline staff workflow. See NCIP Standard to learn more about NCIP.

Rev Dec 2010

Contact Us

University of Minnesota
Wilson Library, Room 60
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-624-4002
Toll-Free: 800-462-5348
Fax: 612-624-4508