Zentralbibliothek Zürich

Deliver information efficiently and securely all over the world

Patrons working in ZB Zurich
Photograph by Frank Brüderlin

"The ZB Zürich is pleased that WorldShare ILL offers new ordering possibilities at the same time as a fast delivery service for overseas libraries."

Claudius Lüthi
Head of IK, Digital Services & Development (IDE)

The Zürich Central Library (ZB Zürich) has been supplying resources to libraries worldwide through WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan (ILL) since the end of 2018. Previously, international interlibrary loan requests were very complex because they involved time-consuming, manually controlled processes. The number of requests was, therefore, not very high. But WorldShare ILL allowed the library staff to automate much of this work and get more requests through the system.

After the ZB moved the largest part of its journal holdings—around 400,000 volumes—to the Cooperative Storage Library Switzerland, a large shared external archive of six Swiss scientific libraries, the staff realized these would make up a substantial part of the copy deliveries via WorldShare ILL. For that reason, they had to be optimally integrated into the automated process.

"The interaction of WorldShare ILL, MyBib eDoc, and MyBib eL has resulted in a very high degree of automation."

The library integrated international request management from WorldShare ILL into their already existing automated document delivery process with MyBib eDoc®. This integration allows MyBib eDoc to query the requests from WorldShare ILL, process them, and then synchronize with WorldShare ILL. This prevents the interlibrary loan staff members from having to operate two different systems for lending processes. In addition, requests from WorldShare ILL can also be enriched with metadata and inventory data via the MyBib eDoc-PlugX interface, which in turn reduces manual work.

In order to make the work even easier, MyBib eDoc automatically adds a link from some requests to the title listing in the local library catalog. This enables an immediate query of the availability of the desired volume and efficient further processing of the order. Also, with the provision of copies via the electronic reading room, MyBib eL®, protecting copyrights for international copies can be done without slowing down the process.

Thanks to the excellent interaction of WorldShare ILL, MyBib eDoc, and MyBib eL, two essential requirements could be met at the ZB Zürich: a high degree of automation and process optimization as well as the use of an existing system to make all requests—be they international or from users within the same system—processable and legally secure. The ZB is delighted with this fast, modern, and efficient solution.

Services used by ZB Zürich

WorldShare Interlibrary Loan


  • Zürich, Switzerland

Library at a glance

  • Open to all as a place for learning, meeting, and exchanging information and culture as the largest city, cantonal, and university library in Switzerland
  • Holds six million printed documents of all kinds and around 90,000 electronic journals and books
  • Includes 830 workplaces, competent advice, guided tours, and training as well as wide-ranging education and training programs for librarians
  • A major cultural venue for exhibitions

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