ILL Direct Request frequently asked questions
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Does ILL Direct Request work for loans and copies?
That depends on which of the three processing options you decide to use:
- Direct-to-Review File. ILL Direct Request accepts a patron request from an external system such as a local system ILL module, and sends it to your OCLC ILL Review File for staff processing.
- Direct-to-Lender. ILL Direct Request accepts a patron request exactly as it comes from an external system and forwards it through OCLC ILL to the first potential lender without any review by your staff. A report detailing your Direct Request activity for the day is available to you the next morning through the web-based OCLC Product Services Web.
- Direct-to-Profile. This is the most powerful and flexible option. You define borrowing criteria using profiles that reside on the OCLC system. When ILL Direct Request accepts a patron request from an external system, the Direct-to-Profile processing:
- Matches the request to a bibliographic record to gather data about language, format, age of material, etc.
- Matches the request, including bibliographic and patron data, to your Direct Request profiles. This step looks to see if the patron’s status and department make him eligible to borrow the type of material he requested.
- Once the system finds a profile match it builds a lender string. Part of your profile specifies how many symbols must be in the lender string for a request to be forwarded directly to the first potential lender.
- If ILL Direct Request supplies enough lenders for your lender string, the system applies the constant data record you specified, uses the bibliographic data from the WorldCat record, generates a lender string and sends the request to the first potential lender.
How does Direct Request recognize whether a user is valid?
Direct Request does not authenticate users. Your system must validate users.
How do I decide which processing option to use?
This is a local decision. The good news is that your system staff can set up the request function to use different options database-by-database. You could setup requests from your OPAC to go directly to lenders, requests from a locally mounted database to load to the Review File, and requests from another OPAC in your database list to use Direct Request profiles.
Even better news is that you can phase your implementation of ILL Direct Request using the Direct-to-Profile option. You can establish a few profiles to handle your simple requests and choose that only those requests go directly to lenders—all other requests will be loaded automatically to your Review File. You can build additional profiles as you gain confidence with the system.
What are Direct Request profiles?
Direct Request profiles are electronic filters. They let you control the process electronically just as you do now manually. For example, when you get a request from an undergraduate for a recent book in English that your library does not own, you probably search for its bibliographic record, apply constant data, use custom holdings to find libraries and send the request. Direct-to-Profile processing automates these tasks.
What happens after ILL Direct Request Produces a request?
Once a request is produced it is treated like any other OCLC ILL request. Lenders can respond Yes, No, Conditional and so on—you use your current workflow to track the rest of the process. If you use the Direct-to-Profile option and there more than enough lenders, you will see the additional holdings in the LOCATIONS field of the OCLC ILL request. If a request goes unfilled you can cut and paste within WorldCat Resource Sharing to help create your new lender string.
What if the request does not match or there is an error?
Direct Request will process as much of the request as it can, then send the request to your Review File along with a message about why the request failed.
What information will the system have about my users?
That depends on your local implementation. All ISO-10161 ILL-Request patron fields can be included in the request. You decide what information to include in the request.
Where does all that patron data go in the workform?
To see a complete listing of the elements and where they map, go to the Direct Request Planning Guide and review the Technical Specifications. The Technical Specifications show where each ISO element is mapped in the OCLC ILL workform.
Which processing option is best?
It depends on your institution and your priorities. If you want the system to do the most possible work for you, choose Direct-to-Profile. If having complete control over every request is important, then choose Direct-to-Review File.