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Mississippi State University

Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University
Frances Coleman

Reduce paper files

The Access Services Department of Mitchell Memorial Library at Mississippi State University implemented the ILLiad software for InterLibrary Loan lending as of July 1, 2001. We followed with the borrowing side of the software in August of 2001, and we plan on implementing the Document Delivery side by March 1, 2002. The ILLiad software has reduced the number of paper files held by the InterLibrary Loan Department as well as the databases being kept in FileMaker Pro.

Track orders, start to finish

Since the implementation of ILLiad, we have experienced quite an increase in order processing and delivery of materials to patrons. Prior to the implementation, the borrowing side of InterLibrary Loan consisted of one staff member (40 hours per week) and two students (18 hours per week each) processing orders. Two additional students (one at 18 hours and one at 11 hours per week) entered the orders and tracked their progress in FileMaker Pro. Currently, we have one full-time staff member processing the incoming borrowing requests and another full-time staff member assisting when the workload is heavy. ILLiad's capability of tracking orders from start to finish has allowed us to discontinue use of FileMaker Pro databases altogether. In addition, using the ILLiad software allows for easier tracking of copyright payments.

Watch for duplicates

These aspects of ILLiad are extremely beneficial to the department and to the service of our customers; however, we have experienced one problem with ILLiad's application. We have encountered an increase in the number of duplicate orders we receive. When submitting a request in ILLiad, a customer is automatically assigned a transaction number and his or her request is queued for processing here in Access Services. A number of customers are duplicating requests as they seem not to realize that their transaction number signifies the article's submission. If an Access Services staff member does not catch the duplication of these orders, ILLiad assigns the same transaction number to the request and, as a result, does not process the duplicate for return.

Maching callers with requests

From the lending side's standpoint, referencing incoming telephone calls with processed requests is much faster than before ILLiad's implementation. Also, locating a request for reference is much easier and quicker since ILLiad allows one to retrace the steps of a request through each process. For example, one may search for and locate a request by referencing its transaction number, by searching with its assigned ILLiad code, or by entering the requested information's title or author. One may even limit searches to certain sub-fields or to a list of outstanding and past requests by a certain user.

Faster and more convenient

ILLiad has enabled the MSU Libraries to provide faster and more convenient service to our ILL patrons. It has empowered our staff and patrons, reduced, if not totally eradicated, the need for paper trails and greatly enhanced the statistics available to the department.

The Access Services Department highly recommends that the MSU Library continue to use ILLiad as its ILL management system.

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