Interlibrary Loan Goes Remote and Online

Posted on 4/21/2020 9:42:51 AM

Although the IUP Libraries buildings are temporarily closed, library faculty and staff continue to provide remote support of the university’s online teaching, learning, and research activities. One key component is a robust system for interlibrary loan of electronic resources from other institutions.

“When we made the decision to move our employees to remote work, I wasn’t sure that we’d be able to provide any interlibrary loan services,” recalled Erik Nordberg, dean of Libraries. “I should have known that our staff wouldn’t give up so easily.” Enter Beth Farabaugh and Bobbie Zapor, staff in the Library’s interlibrary loan department.  Within a few days, they established remote connections to key systems and re-opened both borrowing and lending of journal articles and other electronic content.

“We’re limited to what is available in digital form from other libraries,” reports Farabaugh, “but there has actually been an increase in the number of institutions participating around the world.” Articles are delivered through the IUP Libraries’ electronic document delivery system, ILLiad (first-time users will need to register for the system).

Questions about interlibrary loan at the IUP Libraries can be directed to ill-iup@iup.edu.

“Most people simply see an automated platform delivering good stuff to their desktop,” says Zapor. “But we’re happy to keep our hands on the switches and levers—remotely from our homes—to make sure everything runs smoothly.” Both agree, however, that it will be a relief to return to campus, expand their activities to include physical items, and interact once again with their many campus researchers and friends.