Interlibrary Loan Update - theHumm August 2019
Interlibrary Loan Update - theHumm August 2019
By Erika Heesen, Perth Library
The Perth and District Union Public Library is pleased to announce that it resumed interlibrary loan services, with some changes, as of July 1.
In April 2019, provincial funding to the Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) was cut by 50% (from around $3 million to $1.5 million). SOLS negotiates and coordinates consortia purchasing of online library products such as eBooks; provides library staff training, legal and policy advice; and manages interlibrary loan amongst Ontario’s southern libraries. With the interlibrary loan delivery service, SOLS facilitates fast and efficient sharing of books and other materials between libraries to increase selection and decrease duplication, through a shared database and courier network. Perth’s library users borrowed an average of 300 items each month from other Ontario libraries, and Perth lent 150 items in the first three months of 2019 alone.
Due to this cut, the interlibrary loan van delivery service was cancelled by SOLS as of April 26, 2019. In future, SOLS will preserve the shared library database that makes interlibrary loan possible, and interlibrary loan delivery will be via Canada Post using the library rate, with SOLS providing partial postage reimbursement to local libraries. Based on internal circulation and average local postage costs, the Perth Union Library estimates that the postage cost will be $3000 annually, with an additional $700 in supplies. They currently project a SOLS postage reimbursement of 45% for a total cost of $2,300 to the library annually.
“Participating in interlibrary loan is an important service that is a great benefit to our community in providing access to books that we don’t have locally”, explains Erika Heesen, CEO. “This service was previously funded by SOLS, with local libraries contributing staff time in managing and packaging loans. With the switch to Canada Post and partial postage reimbursement, part of that shipping cost now needs to be absorbed by our local library”.
At their meeting on June 17, the Perth and District Union Public Library Board made the decision to make use of a bequest and funds from reserves to continue interlibrary loan and expand book club sets in 2019. This cost will also be assessed when reviewing the library’s budget in the fall in order to continue interlibrary loan in future years.
“Interlibrary loan delivery via Canada Post will undoubtedly be significantly slower, and will require more staff time,” adds Heesen. “The library is working to do things differently and work within this new system. Consequently, we will be reinstating interlibrary loan with a few changes”.
Individuals who wish to borrow an item from another library must now sign up for patron access interlibrary loan. Using a computer with internet access, users can place their request themselves anywhere, anytime at their convenience. Users will be limited to three requests per month. The library will also be expanding their collection of “Book Club Sets” to continue to meet the needs of local book clubs. Book clubs are encouraged to use these sets instead of interlibrary loan. The library requests that local book clubs who would like to support the library consider a donation of funds or books to expand the Book Club Sets. For more information, visit the library at 30 Herriott St, Perth, or their website at perthunionlibrary.ca .
The majority of public libraries in the Ottawa Valley have resumed interlibrary loan services, with some changes. Check your local library for details.
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