Jan 20, 2009

Maximize research through Interlibrary loans

by Tiffany Edwards

Liberty’s Integrated Learning Resource Center (ILRC) consists of two floors of computer labs and an extensive book collection on its first floor, known as the Pierre A. Guillermin Library. Fewer people know, however, that if an item is not available in the book collection, it can be ordered through a system called Interlibrary Loan.

“If our library doesn’t have an item we will search through other libraries in the nation, and if they have the item, they will loan it to us. Hence (the name) Interlibrary Loan,” Interlibrary Loan student worker Doretha Goad said.

However, Goad added, if a student has not ordered an interlibrary loan before, they will have to create what is called an “ILLiad account” first.
Orders for Interlibrary Loans are placed online through the Guillermin ILRC web catalog. The catalog can be found on the Liberty splash page under “Quicklinks” on the toolbar. Select “Library” and it will bring up the main library directory. For specific information on the Interlibrary Loan Office policies or to create an ILLiad account, select the “Interlibrary Loan/ILLiad.” To search for items from other libraries and academic institutions, select the link titled “Library Research Portal.” Click on the tab titled “Books,” and various links for search engines will appear. Choose the link titled “WorldCat,” and from there a patron can search for items from libraries around the world. Patrons can request books, articles, audio/visual materials, music scores and microfiche documents.

“I really like the idea of being able to order books from another library and having it come to you,” junior Kimberly Grismore said. “I think it’s definitely important because if I didn’t know (about Interlibrary Loan), I’d probably be sitting at my desk worrying about how I’m going to get the books that I need—nothing would get done.”

One thing that cannot be obtained through Interlibrary Loan is textbooks. The Interlibrary Loan office recently stopped allowing the borrowing of textbooks through their office, much to the frustration of many students. The Interlibrary Loan policies page states their reasons for not continuing textbook orders, the main reasons being that the books can only be kept for three weeks and students are often tempted to keep them longer, thus creating a poor testimony for others in the community with whom the materials are shared. Also, few libraries carry the latest editions required for each class.

“The Interlibrary Loan office recommends that students allow themselves ample time for their item to arrive, especially if they are expecting more than one item, or if that item is hard to find,” Circulation Supervisor Kelly Day said. “It just depends on what school we get it from. If you’re doing a research paper, you don’t want to (order multiple items) the week before you need the research—so I would say three weeks.”

An e-mail notification will be sent to the patron informing them their item has arrived and that it can be picked up at the Guillermin ILRC circulation desk.

In cases of books that are late or lost, the patron is allowed a grace period of one week to return it or to renew it. After the grace period, the patron is charged $1 a day, which is posted to their account. After 28 days the item is considered lost and the patron will be fined $28 as well as the replacement fee the lending library has charged. If a patron does not pick up an item after it arrives, a charge of $5 billed to the patron’s account. Renewal requests can be sent by e-mail to illoan@liberty.edu.

For more detailed information on the Interlibrary Loan office’s policies and procedures, visit the Guillermin ILRC Web page.

Contact Tiffany Edwards at

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