Interlending Trending: A Look Ahead from Atop the Data Pile

by: Dennis Massie

This paper explores five forces likely to significantly affect interlending operations in the near term: 1) the transition from print to electronic resources; 2) management of legacy print collections; 3) mass digitization projects; 4) competition from other information providers; and 5) copyright. This paper provides a unique look at forces that are shaping the future of global ILL activities by using data from authoritative sources to illustrate the effects these forces are having and will continue to have on libraries and ILL operations. It predicts that most libraries will be slow to divest themselves of print monographs on a large scale; libraries will continue to build new offsite storage facilities but put more thought into their contents; increased discoverability of digitized texts and greater copyright restrictions will drive users to print; librarians will make gray areas of copyright law work for them instead of against them; publishers, librarians, authors, lawyers, and scholars will find a responsible and fair solution to providing digital access to ‘orphan’ works; and ILL will persist as a core operation for nearly all libraries.

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Suggested Citation:

Massie, Dennis. Interlending Trending: A Look Ahead from Atop the Data Pile. 2012. Interlending & Document Supply, 40,2: 125-130. Pre-print available online at: (.pdf: 218K/10 pp).