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Improving Turnaround Times and Fill Rates

by Peter Collins, Director of Resource Sharing

28 April 2020

As someone who has spent his entire career in librarianship (specifically, overseeing interlibrary loan and delivery initiatives), I want to talk about two crucial components of efficient resource sharing: turnaround times and fill rates.

At OCLC, we’ve been working to improve these factors in several ways, including using availability data to know what's on-hand, from which supplier, in real time; leveraging time-to-fill algorithms to predict processing and shipment time; and automating “buy vs. borrow” decisions.

Progress on strategic matters like these is possible because of the OCLC resource sharing network: the world’s largest, integrated group of resource sharing librarians—thousands-strong, informed by more than 40 years of collaboration. Among other benefits, this network provides comprehensive access through economies of scale, simplified workflows through automation, global visibility and infrastructure, and a foundation of openness and collaboration.

This collaboration and engagement with the community is deeply rooted in the daily work we do, and could encompass long-term studies using precision methodology and control, brief conversations between sessions at a conference, and everything in between. Whatever the method, the size and dedication of the OCLC resource sharing network is a unique asset working on behalf of our community.

With respect to optimizing turnaround times and fill rates, here are several examples of collaborative projects currently underway:

  • Virtual Workshop Series on Policies and Configurations
  • Automated Request Manager
  • Identifying Fastest Lenders
  • Reasons For No Task Force
  • Availability/Requestability Pilot
  • Removing Non-Responsive Suppliers

Additional details on these projects are available for OCLC subscribers within the Community Center. 

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Peter Collins is the Director of Resource Sharing at OCLC and has worked for more than 15 years at academic institutions on optimizing turnaround times and fill rates.

For more about Peter, check out Get to Know Peter Collins, Director of Resource Sharing. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter.


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