Skip to main content

Quick Summary

Have you noticed that patrons don't pick up their interlibrary loan materials? Texas A&M staff investigated the reasons why. Minitex would like to learn more about why patrons may not be viewing items they request that are delivered via MEDD. 


Zheng Ye (Lan) Yang, Director of Document Delivery Services at Texas A&M University Libraries, presented some interesting data on customer satisfaction with interlibrary loan at the OCLC Resource Sharing Conference held in March 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida. (See slides for the presentation “Stop Chasing Chickens and Let the Fences Do the Work: Data Supported Service Policies in Action”

Her staff were frustrated by the number of interlibrary loan items borrowed from other libraries that were never picked up by their patrons. They wanted to learn more about that and began emailing customers when they did not pick up requested items. The following is a breakdown of the responses:

  • Patron purchased a copy - 27%
  • Took too long - 25%
  • Duplicate order/mistake - 19%
  • No longer need it (out of town, graduated) - 9%
  • Used the e-version found on library catalog - 8%
  • Dropped the class - 7%
  • Changed research topic/no longer relevant - 5%

The results led them to change some of their procedures. They now review certain types of requests and email the patron for clarification before they process them. They noticed that this tended to encourage more customers to use the note field to clarify information on their requests. It also resulted in a 50% reduction in the number of items that were not picked up by patrons.

Recently, at Minitex, we have noticed an increasing trend of patrons not viewing articles on MEDD. Whenever we see a change like this, we want to investigate to learn if there is something we can change, or if there is something that might not be working correctly in the process.

I would appreciate your thoughts on the reasons why your patrons may not be retrieving requested articles. Have you noticed this at your institution? Is there any feedback you are willing to share? If so, please contact Carol Nelson.



Written by

Carol Nelson
Resource Sharing Manager
Resource Sharing & Delivery logo.

The rich resources of Minnesota libraries, available to patrons and libraries in every corner of Minnesota