University of Glasgow

Bring users resources from across the globe

Students in front of University of Glasgow Library
Photo courtesy of University of Glasgow

"Many items our students require are either not available in the UK or are held for 'reference only' at UK libraries… Being able to obtain items from abroad means that we cancel fewer requests, which is good for our stats, as it means the number of filled requests is kept relatively high."

Joanne Docherty
Interlibrary Loan Manager, University of Glasgow Library

As no one library can provide all the resources or content that students and researchers require, librarians sometimes have to tell users to travel across the country or, in some cases, abroad to view an item. By using interlibrary loan (ILL), the University of Glasgow Library has opened up quick and easy access to resources worldwide for everyone.

As a member of SHARES, an international sharing partnership of research libraries, University of Glasgow Library was able to share resources with other SHARES libraries using WorldCat® Resource Sharing. However, librarians were unable to fulfill all of the requests and knew they needed to extend their reach beyond SHARES locations to truly address their students' requirements.

Having used OCLC services for many years, it seemed obvious to stick with WorldCat Resource Sharing, which then was replaced with WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan in 2014. "We moved over to WorldShare ILL as soon as it was released as we wanted the optimum amount of time to get used to the new format," said Joanne Docherty, Interlibrary Loan Manager. This meant that University of Glasgow Library was able to offer increased access to even more resources outside of their usual remit.

"We have been using OCLC services for a number of years now and found WorldCat Resource Sharing [WorldShare Interlibrary Loan] to be an essential part of our daily service."

Article Exchange, a feature included in WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, allows the library to easily borrow and deliver document files to their students. This decreases the turnaround times and provides students with easy access to needed documents. Lending libraries use Article Exchange to deliver requested documents up to 60 MB in size in a secure, easy-to-use interface. "Using Article Exchange means requests can be received by the requesting library much faster, and patrons then receive their articles quicker. You also don't have the extra expense of postage," Joanne added.

By using WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, University of Glasgow Library is able to offer a service with a far greater reach for their students, making worldwide resources available on their doorstep.

Services used by University of Glasgow

WorldShare Interlibrary Loan

Article Exchange

Map showing location of University of Glasgow

Library at a glance

  • Special Collections Department holds more than 200,000 manuscripts and around 200,000 printed works, including more than 1,000 incunabula
  • Seven branch libraries plus one main library
  • Archive Services have more than 1,000 collections spanning over seven centuries

Related stories

Bavarian State Library

Make knowledge visible and available internationally

Learn how the Bavarian State Library provided a more convenient and improved interlibrary loan service.

CSIRO photo of Australian King Parrot

Support scientists around the world

Examine how CSIRO, Australia's science agency, streamlined its efforts to share science-related items with libraries and researchers across the globe.