1 Introducing the OCLC ILL Direct Request Service


OCLC ILL Direct Request automates your ILL request process. Using 1 of 3 available processing options, ILL Direct Request automatically sends patron-generated request created in your system to the OCLC Interlibrary Loan service for fulfillment.

Your system

For the purposes of ILL Direct Request and this Planning Guide, your system can be a local system ILL module, resource-sharing consortia Web interface, or locally-developed borrowing software. If you are developing a patron ILL interface, use the information in this Guide to incorporate 1 or more of the ILL Direct Request processing options.

Systems supported by ILL Direct Request

The OCLC FirstSearch system has implemented ILL Direct Request in its ILL functions, as have several local system vendors. Contact your local system vendor to find out if it supports ILL Direct Request.

OCLC FirstSearch

FirstSearch processes ILL requests from the WorldCat database using ILL Direct Request.   All FirstSearch-generated requests are processed using the Direct-to-Profile option.  See sections 3.2-3.5 in this Planning Guide for everything you need to know about implementing the FirstSearch/ILL Direct Request link. See also the OCLC FirstSearch/ILL Direct Request Link Quick Reference for a step-by-step approach to implementing the link.

Comparing Options

There are 3 OCLC ILL Direct Request processing options:

Option Description
Direct-to-Profile You define borrowing criteria using profiles that reside on the OCLC system.  Once matched and processed, Direct-to-Profile processing can send requests directly to lenders or directly to your OCLC ILL Review File. Requests generated through FirstSearch are processed using this option.
Direct-to-Lender Patron-generated ILL requests are forwarded directly to potential lenders through OCLC ILL using a lender string your system provides.
Direct-to-Review File Your system sends patron-generated ILL requests directly to your OCLC ILL Review file. Your ILL staff can review or modify the requests, then produce them through your regular OCLC ILL workflow.

For requests generated outside of FirstSearch, ILL Direct Request identifies the processing option based on a value your system assigns to a particular element in the ISO-10161 ILL-Request.


ILL Direct Request can send requests for serials (Bib Lvl s) directly to your Review File or, if you provide a lender string, to potential lenders. Currently, ILL Direct Request cannot read union list data so does not find lenders for serials. If you do not provide the lender string, requests for serials (whether for loan or copy) are placed in your OCLC ILL Review File.

General requirements

To use ILL Direct Request beyond the FirstSearch link, your library and system must meet the following criteria:

  • Support the ISO-10161 ILL protocol and OCLC extensions to it as detailed in Part 2: Technical Specifications
  • Allow patrons to initiate electronic ILL requests through your system
  • Have the necessary system hardware and software to allow the patron to create and send ILL requests to OCLC (OCLC does not provide this software).
  • Maintain a local database of patron information. Your system is responsible for patron authentication and validation
  • Have an OCLC ILL authorization and password

Capabilities of your system

If you plan to use the capabilities of ILL Direct Request beyond the FirstSearch link, discuss with your System Manager the capabilities of your system. See chapter 2, External System and OCLC ILL Considerations.

Policies and guidelines

OCLC Interlibrary Loan Guidelines apply to transactions sent through OCLC ILL Direct Request.