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Best Practices for Multi-Volume Requests

Written by the Minitex/MnLINK ILL Committee 2010.

Requests for works which are composed of multiple volumes continue to be a problem for ILL staff and patrons. There are problems of identification, verification, request and response methodology, and fulfillment issues. Best practices must create efficiencies for both ILL staff and patrons.

Best Practices/Recommendations

Here are some best practices/recommendations from ILL staff across the state:

  • If the entire multi-volume set is requested and only the first volume is being sent, a note should be entered saying "Volume 1 only being sent".
  • If the entire multi-volume set is requested and the first volume is not available, the responding library should reply with a not supplied note that indicates “Volume 1 is not available.”
  • Libraries could keep all discs of one season or all volumes in a multi-volume set in a single case or container to ensure entire sets are loaned and returned.
  • Libraries should loan entire seasons of series unless patrons identify either a specific volume or notes that they don't care which volume they receive.
  • ILL staff should write notes on VDX paperwork or in the electronic record identifying what is being sent and received.

Cataloging Multi-Volume Sets

Best practices in identification and verification of multi-volume requests starts with cataloging. By placing all of the items for each volume under one cataloging record, it insures easy identification of all possible volumes. Description should include sufficient information to verify independent volumes with titles, notes, etc., for each individual item. Also, the request methodology should ensure patrons or public service staff can identify and request the specifically desired item in the multi-volume set or the entire multi-volume set if needed.

Rev Dec 2010

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