SHARES Best Practices
Defining resource sharing best practices is an ongoing effort. The SHARES Best Practices Working Group is a standing group with rotating membership that will continue to develop this list of preferred practices.
Click here to see a list of specific collection sharing best practices divided into various categories. Each category is presented on a grid consisting of four columns:
- Principle: high-level collection sharing concepts of desired behavior.
- Best – General: specific collection sharing best practices applicable to most any situation or consortium.
- Best Plus – SHARES: specific collection sharing best practices reflecting the enhanced expectations and traditions among SHARES partners.
- The Worst: a chance to vent about pet peeves and perceived crimes against collection sharing humanity.
The inaugural edition of the SHARES Best Practices working Group conceived of, and began assembling, a set of best practices in the following categories:
- About You(r ILL unit)
- Packaging and Shipping
- International Packaging and Shipping
Some categories may not be present on the current version of the Best Practices grid; also, there are no doubt important categories we haven’t thought of yet.
SHARES participants are encouraged to contribute to this effort by:
- Commenting on the Best Practices work by posting to the OCLCRLP-SHARES-L discussion list or by sending comments to the OCLC SHARES coordinator.
- Using a template to send your own version of the Best Practices grid to the SHARES Best Practices Working Group for review; contact the OCLC SHARES coordinator to receive a copy of the template.
Interlending and document supply
SHARES participants can use any ILL system that converses with OCLC's WorldShare Interlibrary Loan (WSILL). But all SHARES requests must pass through WorldShare Interlibrary Loan and use IFM (ILL Fee Management) as the payment method.
Using OCLC's Policies Directory, participants can, if they choose, limit incoming requests from other libraries to just SHARES libraries. Special instructions are available for using OCLC systems for SHARES activity:
Turnaround service standard
Traditionally, SHARES has not adopted strictly enforced turnaround times because the emphasis has been for lenders to get to “yes” even if it means spending extra time retrieving a hard-to-borrow item from offsite or negotiating with a bibliographer or curator for a special loan. SHARES libraries should strive to provide the quickest possible service in filling requests while also acknowledging that a) staffing and other temporary local conditions can cause delays, and b) special requests may take extra time. SHARES libraries should keep their OCLC Policies Directory turnaround time up to date in order to allow resource sharing partners to make informed decisions when selecting potential suppliers.
Liberal lending policies
SHARES partners lend dissertations, theses, and other normally noncirculating material generously. Borrowers should attempt to locate a circulating copy before sending a request for material in a special collection or noncirculating collection. No per-request limit should be placed on the number of volumes or microform reels to be supplied.
For general circulating collections, SHARES partners lend physical items for a minimum of 35 days. The borrowing partner sets the due date at the day the user should return the material for immediate return to lender. The ideal loan period is 12-17 weeks; libraries that are unable to offer extended loan periods are strongly encouraged to be generous when considering renewal requests. Exceptions to the 35-day minimum loan period can be made for special collections and other non-circulating material.
Recalling loaned material
Lenders may recall material when it is needed locally. Recalled material will be returned by second-day air.
An insured courier must be used for returnable material. Odyssey is the preferred method of delivery for photocopies, although fax, an insured courier, or first-class mail may be used. Airmail is used to return borrowed material. Expedited, next-day delivery is available at cost to borrower.
No automatic blanket restrictions
No automatic blanket restrictions (for example, "for use only in the library" or "no renewals") are permitted. Restrictions may be placed on loaned material item by item or under unusual circumstances, such as bequest restrictions.
In unusual circumstances, lenders may suspending or limit ILL lending. An announcement should be submitted to the electronic interlending discussion list (OCLCRLP-SHARES-L) to alert partners to the beginning and end dates of reduced service. Staff can set their supplier status temporarily to non-supplier via the Policies Directory.
Lenders supply a minimum of 50 exposures at $10 USD when filling patron-initiated photocopy requests. Copy requests for preservation microfilming projects and collection maintenance are also included within the SHARES copying guidelines, with no limit on the number of exposures.
Lenders will rush-catalog or lend uncataloged material if a title is not available from other SHARES partners.
SHARES participants use OCLC's ILL Fee Management (IFM) when filling loan and copy requests for program partners, following this pricing structure:
- For photocopies/nonreturnables, $10 for each loan.
- For books and other returnables, $10 for each net loan within the continent or geographic group and $30 for loans between continents.
- Credits and debits show up each month on every SHARES library's OCLC bill, mixed in with all other IFM activity.
- A special view of SHARES IFM activity is available each month via the OCLC Resource Sharing Usage Statistics.
- The Library of Congress does not charge for loans within the United States.
- SHARES art libraries do not charge one another for loans and copies supplied; they do charge (and pay to borrow from) other SHARES partners.
These updated and revised guidelines supersede Chapter 1 of the 1996-2000 RLG SHARES Manual.
The previous SHARES packaging guidelines are available here (.pdf). The SHARES Documentation Working Group invites you to weigh in on which portions of these guidelines should be restored to the SHARES Web site and re-embraced as SHARES policy. Post your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
These updated and revised guidelines supersede Chapter 7 of the 1996-2000 RLG SHARES Manual.
On-site access privileges through the SHARES partnership permit faculty, emeritus faculty, students, and academic and professional library staff of partners' institutions to use the collections and services at other SHARES libraries. The following general policies apply:
Visitors must present a currently valid institutional ID card. A photo identification may be requested if the ID does not include a photograph.
In-library use of material is permitted, but visitors are not granted borrowing privileges. When libraries have restricted stack access, visitors will receive the same degree of access accorded their peers at the host institution; for example, visiting faculty will be accorded local faculty stack privileges. Access to special or restricted collections or materials is possible if arranged in advance.
On-site access does not extend to alumni, retired faculty (except for emeritus faculty), courtesy or fee borrowers, spouses, or docents; or to faculty, staff, and students from non-SHARES units affiliated with SHARES participants.
Local protocols take precedence over the SHARES on-site access guidelines. For example, participating institutions in the same region may have established more liberal policies or more specific guidelines for each other's clientele.
- Visitors can expect these services:
- Reference consultation
- Photocopying at the local constituency rate
- Database search services at the local constituency rate
- Other services available to comparable groups at the host institution
Special arrangements may be available for using unique local resources and electronic databases that are restricted by license agreements. Visitors will not receive direct ILL borrowing services; for example, the visitor cannot present an ALA ILL Request form and expect to carry out the requested item.
On-site access is available during the institution's regular business hours. To verify hours, holiday access, and access to departmental libraries and special collections, contact the SHARES liaison in advance.
Share Special Collections
The SHARES Sharing Special Collections Working Group has the tools you need to sensibly borrow and lend special collections materials.
In 2018 and 2019, the SHARES Executive Group engaged with all SHARES participants in rethinking SHARES policies and values.
SHARES Project Team
SHARES is managed by the SHARES Executive Group.