English

PALCI

Simplify sharing within your group

People collaborating in library

"The great thing about D2D is not just the dramatic level of access enabled by the system. It's the efficiency of processing on the library side."

Cathy Wilt
Executive Director, PALCI

The Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI) is a 20-year-old consortium focused on building access to collections. "PALCI was one of the first consortia to use a more robust technology solution in their interlibrary loan system," explained Cathy Wilt, PALCI's Executive Director. Since 2011, PALCI has used Relais™ Discovery to Delivery™ (D2D™), branded in the group as E-ZBorrow, to manage resource sharing between its libraries.

"E-ZBorrow's greatest value is cost avoidance on two levels," Cathy said. Clearly, libraries save money by borrowing, not purchasing, every book their users might need. "But more importantly, the borrowers use the unmediated ILL system allowing for machine-to-machine communication to manage most of the interlibrary loan process," she said.

"Our conservative estimate shows that PALCI members using E‑ZBorrow save about 38,000 hours in staff time, resulting in a cost savings of about three quarters of a million dollars."

Cathy notes that PALCI and other D2D users have been involved in product development from the beginning. "A huge value in the D2D community and culture is collaborative development," she said. The community has frequent meetings with the Relais team to discuss enhancements, functionality, and development priorities. PALCI also supplies support for E-ZBorrow in the form of library visits, webinars, and documentation. "I am hopeful OCLC will bring additional development resources to the D2D endeavor. OCLC's technology infrastructure can really help enhance the system," she added.

Thanks to D2D's unmediated workflows, Cathy explained, the first interaction most libraries have with ILL requests is to print out the pull sheet each morning. "Often, that's not a librarian or library staff member," she said. "It's usually a student assistant who takes the pull sheet, goes to the stacks, and pulls the books." She added, "That is remarkable efficiency for our libraries."

"The sheer volume of assets to which our users have access is incredible," Cathy said. Although PALCI consists of libraries of all sizes, "Our top five users of E-ZBorrow in 2016 were all ARL libraries. D2D opens their massive collections to our array of users and supports the premise that collection uniqueness exists in all sizes of libraries." Cathy visited a major research library new to PALCI, the staff told her their opinion of their new ILL system. "The quote was, 'E-ZBorrow is heaven!'" she said.

Map showing location of PALCI

Consortium at a glance

  • Includes 68 academic and research libraries, private and public, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and New York
  • Member libraries have holdings in excess of 144 million and serve more than 500,000 FTE students combined
  • Delivers 150,000+ interlibrary loan books annually within the consortium through E-ZBorrow

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