New Web service now available: Interlibrary Loan Policies Directory

We're pleased to announce a brand new Web service now available through the OCLC WorldShare Platform: the Interlibrary Loan Policies Directory.

Known colloquially as the "OCLC Policies Directory," it is a classic reference resource for interlibrary loan (ILL) librarians. It tells you the lending and copying policies for more than 10,000 WorldCat Resource Sharing—soon to be WorldShare ILL—libraries. If you’ve not delved into the secret lives of ILL librarians, know that there is an incredible amount of detail that goes into making the whole process smooth. There’s everything from libraries noting the specific formats they’re willing to lend (or not), copying policies for electronic materials and even the ability to identify requests that your library can’t fill so they should automatically bypass your library.

With all that helpful information, the Policies Directory was ripe for offering up as a Web service. Right now it’s a read-only service, but eventually we expect it to be read/write. You can use it to query another OCLC member library using their OCLC symbol or WorldCat Registry ID and get their ILL policies information.

Policies information available for each institution includes data elements such as

  • Fees
  • Hours
  • Closures
  • Contact Information
  • Status as a Supplier (willing to lend/copy, etc)

You may want to use the Policies Directory Web service to create library groupings in your city, region or within your consortia. Or perhaps you might set up different groups for types of materials libraries are willing to lend, or libraries that don’t require a fee…there are a ton of possibilities and we’re excited to see what you’ll create with this new service.

For the Policies Directory, as with any Web service that corresponds to a product, you’ll need the requisite subscription to WorldCat Resource Sharing to be able to use the service in production. But everyone is free to test it out and build something awesome in the sandbox environment!

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