Thursday, August 10, 2017

Big Changes to Interlibrary Loan System

First, welcome back!  It is hard to believe that the summer has flown by so quickly.  We are not mentally prepared for the upcoming school year, but we will get there.  Hopefully.  We will.  Maybe...

One of the main reasons this summer has flown by is that we have taken on a huge project of revamping our interlibrary loan system.  This was a 2+ month process and we couldn't be happier with it (shout out to CU's IT department for helping!).  This will allow for an easier way and faster results for gaining access to additional resources.  

If you aren't familiar with interlibrary loan, we can fill you in!  If there is any item you need for class (or fun) that the Vise Library does not own (other than textbooks), then we can request to borrow that item from another library.  It is 99% of the time free of charge (we always let you know if there is a fee involved with the item you are requesting).  If there is a need for an item for your research project (or just for fun!) make sure you allow at least 2 weeks for your item to arrive.  This is not a service that you can procrastinate with since things take time to get here!  You've been warned.

The Old Way

If you were a user of interlibrary before then you may remember what it used to look like:

Basically it was a plain ole Google Doc that you copied and pasted information into (boooorrrrrinnnggg).  This would then be accessible to the person who handles all of the university's interlibrary loan requests (me, Ashli Wells).  The library aka Ashli would then go to the interlibrary loan system and request the item for the student, faculty or staff member and it would be up to the other libraries that we requested the item from to send the item to us.  Ashli would then email the individual that their loan request was sent and out there in the wild.  There was no way to know the progress of the item until it either arrived (happy face) or when Ashli contacted you that your request was denied (sad face).  

The New Way

But wait, this new system completely changes all of that!  "How?" you may be asking yourself.  Well, let us show you:

Start out by visiting the library's home page (  Then click on the first tab under services labeled Interlibrary Loan (You're with me so far, right?).

You will be taken to our guide that deals with interlibrary loan and answers any questions you may have!  You will then click on the "Request an Item" tab:

This is where all the new, fun stuff begins!  You will be taken to the following log-in screen.  YOU WILL USE THE SAME INFORMATION YOU USE TO SIGN INTO CANVAS in order to access the new interlibrary loan system.

Once you log-in you will see a big blue button that says "Create Request"

Once you click create request you can pick what type of material you are needing (book, movie, article, etc) and fill out the required information to submit your request.  You will also see there is an area for communication preferences. This allows you to pick the way you want to be contacted (email, text) when your item is requested, renewed, canceled, or when it arrives. 

 You can also check the status of you request at any time!  This means you won't be left wondering if you request has been processed or if it's just out in the universe somewhere.  

Also, as long as you do this SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE YOUR ITEM IS DUE, you can request for your loan period to be extended through this portal.

This interface has another way of making requesting items even easier!  If you search for an item through on campus or by going to the following link off campus ( and look for a specific item or topic, the interface will allow the information to auto populate the required information into the ILL request form.  Take a look below on how to do this:

(this is the main search screen)

Perform your search.  I used "pugs" as my search term (because, of course!) and was taken to the following screen:

Let's say I find this first book to be the most intriguing.  As long as the Vise Library does not own the item you are looking for, like this book, you will see the following button pop up after clicking the title:

Once you click this button you will be taken to the form where you will notice all of the information required (except the need by date) is filled in for us.  You will just need to hit the submit request button at the bottom of the screen to complete your request.  (If you are not logged-in to the system you will need to log-in before it will take you to the following screen.):

How is this better?

Because it just is!  It allows for requests to be submitted quickly and therefore has the potential for your items to get here at an earlier time.  It also allows you, the patron, to see that status of your item at any time through this process.  You also don't have to ask the library staff where your item is or if you can renew it.  The biggest thing is the potential for notifications.  Once you set up your preferences, you can receive notifications through your phone or email to keep you updated.  These notifications also let you know when your item is due and if it is past due (Don't do that and don't make me hunt you down).  

We hope you find this update as exciting as us!  If you have any issues with this system or have any questions, feel free to contact Ashli Wells at!  Good luck with the upcoming school year and we hope to help you in the library!