Bavarian State Library

Make knowledge visible and available internationally

Photo of Bavarian State Library interior

"WorldShare Interlibrary Loan is a central tool, if not the central tool, for libraries with a substantial amount of international interlibrary lending."

Berthold Gillitzer
Assistant Head of User Services Department and Head of Document Delivery and Interlibrary Lending Unit, Bavarian State Library

The Bavarian State Library has been participating in OCLC's international interlibrary lending service since March 2009. WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan (formerly WorldCat® Resource Sharing) brings together more than 9,000 libraries in more than 40 countries. This cooperative service is based on the world's largest library catalog, WorldCat, which contains more than 559 million bibliographic records that represent more than 3.4 billion items held by participating libraries, including the entire collection of the Bavarian State Library.

International interlibrary lending has traditionally been an expensive process. Orders for interlibrary loans arrived through the mail or email and, in a lot of cases, involved time-consuming communication or research on the Internet to verify the library's identity or to clarify ordering and charging procedures. Orders had to be managed manually in special systems, and payment was made mainly by IFLA vouchers or international transfers—a system requiring constant and complex manual work.

"WorldShare Interlibrary Loan brings together the collection inventories of a lot of libraries, thereby making them visible to many, including the unique stocks of the Bavarian State Library."

WorldShare Interlibrary Loan simplified and improved this process by managing and supporting every one of these steps in an integrated system. The amount of staff work has been reduced enormously. The libraries participate in a central service from which all benefit. Problems with loss, damage or unpaid bills are practically non-existent.

With integration of the MyBib eL® system, Bavarian State Library document copies that comply with German copyright laws can now also be electronically supplied as an alternative to fax and mail, even on an international basis. The direct link between the order management system from WorldShare Interlibrary Loan and the local document supply system, MyBib eDoc®, via an interface provided by OCLC, allows the process to be integrated in local workflows.

When it comes to ordering and processing, the system is convenient and easy for customers and suppliers. The Bavarian State Library has become one of the most frequent WorldShare ILL suppliers of library materials outside the United States.

Services used by the Bavarian State Library

WorldShare Interlibrary Loan

Map showing location of the Bavarian State Library

Library at a glance

  • With 10 million tapes, around 62,000 current newspapers in electronic and printed format and around 96,000 manuscripts, the Bavarian State Library is one of the most important knowledge centers in the world
  • Together with the State Library in Berlin and the German National Library in Frankfurt and Leipzig, it forms the virtual National Library of Germany
  • The entire collection of the Bavarian State Library is available in WorldCat

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