Vancouver Aquarium

Deliver hard-to-find materials when researchers need them

Photo of a jellyfish from the Vancouver Aquarium
Photo by Neil Fisher, Vancouver Aquarium

"WorldShare Interlibrary Loan allows our library to support invaluable aquatic research and conservation efforts with the staff and budget of a special library."

Ann Dreolini
Manager of Information Services, Vancouver Aquarium

Beyond the otters and beluga whales, the penguins and the clown fish, the Vancouver Aquarium is home to research programs that study aquatic habitats and animals both in captivity and in the wild around the world. The various research programs, as well as the aquarium's general staff and volunteers, are supported in part by the Vancouver Aquarium's library.

Ann Dreolini, Manager of Information Services, supports more than 1,500 people with more than 7,000 library resources. With the help of five volunteers, Ann ensures that researchers have access to the resources they need. "The volunteers help with everything except interlibrary loan," Ann said. Most of the library's holdings are books and DVDs, and Ann relies on interlibrary loan to locate hard-to-find items, especially research articles. As Ann explained, "Interlibrary loan enables us to locate materials needed by aquarium researchers that we don't already have in the local collection. And that really helps us stretch our small materials budget."

Ann often finds the needed materials in WorldCat® and then requests them through WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan. "The interoperability of these systems makes it easier to get materials in researchers' hands quickly," Ann added. For example, she was able to connect a researcher at the aquarium studying different types of algae growth with an article from an obscure Japanese journal that the library at the University of Hawaii at Manoa had available. "That wasn't something our library would normally have, but the researcher found it very useful," she said.

"As more libraries adopt the use of Article Exchange, it will become even simpler to borrow documents from other libraries and share them with our users."

Because much of the material Ann requests is articles, she especially likes the Article Exchange feature in WorldShare Interlibrary Loan. Article Exchange allows her to easily borrow electronic documents and share them with the aquarium's researchers through the Article Exchange portal. "This is especially helpful for larger documents, because our email system has a size limit of 10MB per message," she said. "I also love the Article Exchange Alerts that help me see when a requested document is available so I can get it to the researcher as quickly as possible."

Map showing location of Seattle Public Library

Library at a glance

  • The Vancouver Aquarium library is supported by one librarian and five volunteers
  • All 500 aquarium employees and 1,000 volunteers have access to the library
  • The library's local collection includes approximately 7,200 books and DVDs, with DVDs being the most popular resource

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