Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University Library
Mark Smith, Supervisor
ILLiad versus homegrown
Before OCLC ILLiad resource sharing management software, we were dependent upon management software created and maintained by our students. While there were some perks in designing our own system, we were lacking in a couple of critical areas: i.e., no library user interface, no electronic delivery and no consistent server support. We were totally dependent upon your basic homegrown software package-which changed as often as our students.
Our goal was to find an ILL management system that could immediately be implemented upon purchase. We reviewed a number of packages and invited several vendors to campus. Amid promises of development and readiness, OCLC ILLiad was the one that was ready right out of the box.
What ILLiad gave us was a very robust package that filled all our unique needs. BYU has several campuses and appendages that needed greater access to academic materials. We have campuses in Hawaii, Idaho and Salt Lake. We also serve a number of administrative offices throughout Utah and in various parts of the country. For interlibrary loan services, these campuses and administrative units have been on their own.
With a recent mandate, the BYU Provo library is now to act as the central vehicle for accessing research material for all BYU campuses and administrative units. The OCLC ILLiad customer support folks worked on the problem and created several partitions on our ILLiad server that now allow us to process all interlibrary loan requests from all campuses and other offices. All requests are funneled to our office; and after a review, processed requests are filled by our library and sent to other libraries as "original" requests. This allows each campus to maintain its own unique agreements with other schools. We utilize both OCLC and RLIN, and ILLiad is able to accommodate both. The point is that ILLiad has always been very accessible and helpful in customer support. Modifications and customizations become realities because of Atlas' commitment to ILLiad and its users.
Recently, our university administration has been interested in reviewing library usage. OCLC ILLiad was singled out as a tool for reviewing collection development policies, research trends among departments, and research habits among students and faculty. The university appointed a statistician to look at the raw data available from ILLiad and to prepare a subsequent report. There are many reports available through OCLC ILLiad that our interlibrary loan office has been using to review our own performance. This is a critical part of our function, and we have been grateful for the ever-expanding reports that Atlas has been developing.