Mount Mercy University

Deliver articles within minutes

A photo of Busse Library at Mount Mercy University

"I like how instant it is to send articles through Article Exchange. I just click 'send,' and the other library—whether it's in California or on the East Coast—gets it within seconds."

Robyn Clark-Bridges
Evening Supervisor and Interlibrary Loan Associate, Mount Mercy University

When a Washington, DC, law library needed information about how the US Postal Service tracked citizens, they found it in Iowa. When Florida's Walt Disney World needed information on the mating behaviors of American alligators, they found it in Iowa. Why? Because that's where the interlibrary loan staff at Mount Mercy University received and filled their requests.

Mount Mercy University uses WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to process about 3,000 requests per year, according to former Director of Library Services Marilyn Murphy. This output marks about twice as many requests as enrolled full-time students. With a staff of five professionals, this high volume would not be possible without a streamlined, technology-enabled workflow. As Evening Supervisor and Interlibrary Loan Associate Robyn Clark-Bridges explained, "Because of OCLC, we can exceed our expectations for filling requests."

"The time WorldShare ILL saves me translates into helping out other libraries. I find joy in filling a request after multiple libraries before me passed due to an incorrect or incomplete citation."

Most of the ILL requests Mount Mercy University fulfills are for articles. They use Article Exchange for both their own students and for other libraries. "It has sped up sending things out and borrowing. Some libraries that used to take several days are now getting back to us within hours by using Article Exchange," Marilyn said. "Our students appreciate how quickly we're able to get things back to them." Robyn added, "International sharing is more efficient. I no longer have to follow up after sending an article to ensure the library received it."

"WorldShare ILL complies with copyright restrictions while being vendor-friendly and easy to use. This is the most uncomplicated way of processing requests I've seen in my 15 years of working with ILL," Robyn continued. "I estimate WorldShare ILL saved 50% to 75% of my previous workload's time investment."

Map showing location of Mount Mercy University

Library at a glance

  • Founded by the Sisters of Mercy; became a full university in 2010
  • As a net lender, the library shared more resources in 2014 than any other private Iowa college
  • Supports fewer than 1,500 full-time equivalent students, but shares about 3,000 resources annually through ILL
  • Has used OCLC ILL services for more than 30 years

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