Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Support scientists around the world

Photo of an Australian King Parrot
Photo by John Manger, courtesy of CSIRO


"Library staff can now place requests with overseas libraries as easily as they can with local suppliers. Turnaround times have decreased, and workloads have been streamlined, providing global access to our researchers."

Thomas Girke
Manager of Information Resources, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Australia's premiere science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), maintains massive collections of resources a scientist might need to advance research. The library wants to make sure that everyone who needs an item has access to it. "As CSIRO has one of the largest science collections globally, including many unique items, we are frequently asked to supply to libraries across the world," explained Thomas Girke, Manager of Information Resources.

CSIRO Library Services receives requests for items through its Document Delivery Service. "While the majority of requests can be filled from our own collections and resource-sharing partners within Australia, increasingly we are being asked to source items not available locally," Thomas explained. "As a result, we needed to maintain separate accounts with suppliers, and we received requests in numerous formats." When you're managing an average of 1,500 requests per month with libraries and suppliers all over the world, all those accounts and request formats can really slow things down.

"Adopting WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan has allowed us to streamline both requesting and supplying into a single workflow," Thomas said. Not only do their requests now follow a standard format, but also "the ISO capabilities of WorldShare ILL allowed us to easily integrate requesting and supplying into our existing Document Delivery Management system."

"WorldShare Interlibrary Loan has streamlined management of all our requests to and from libraries across the globe through a single system and has resulted in more efficient support for research. In addition, finance processes have been simplified with one invoice or credit each month for all our WorldShare ILL transactions."

Thomas also noted that the staff no longer has to maintain separate accounts and billing cycles with each supplier. "We no longer need to raise invoices or make multiple payments each month," Thomas explained, because of OCLC's Interlibrary Loan Fee Management. "It's hard to imagine how we could function without WorldShare ILL now."

"Through an existing agreement between the National Library of Australia and OCLC, CSIRO's library holdings were already contributed to WorldCat®," Thomas said, which made initial set-up easy and "within days of our first contact." Does Thomas or his staff have any regrets? Only one, he said. "If only we had implemented this sooner!"

Map showing location of CSIRO

Library at a glance

  • Library supports one of the largest and most diverse science research agencies in the world
  • Provides access to more than 40,000 e-journal titles, 200,000 e-books, relevant databases and print resources including approximately 200,000 records of CSIRO research publications
  • Lends and borrows library resources throughout Australia and internationally
  • CSIRO runs more than 50 sites, including locations in each Australian state and territory

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