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Tying collection development's loose ends with interlibrary loan

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to discover the characteristics and quality of interlibrary loan (ILL) titles, and determine whether purchasing ILL titles is a useful collection development method. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The study analyzed document containing 18,322 monographic education and psychology monographs borrowed by Southern Illinois University Carbondale patrons through I-Share, Illinois' statewide catalog, during the 2004 calendar year. Education and psychology books account for 574 of the 18,322 titles. The study located 132 reviews for 92 of the titles by searching PsycINFO and Education Abstracts. It recorded reviewer recommendation, publication date, publisher, source of review, and list price. Findings ‐ The paper finds that ILL titles are high quality, inexpensive, new, and easy to obtain. Average list price of education and psychology ILL titles is $48.82. A total of 60 percent of the titles were published in the last three years. Only 7 percent of the titles received negative reviews. Practical implications ‐ The paper recommends that Southern Illinois University Carbondale and, potentially, other academic libraries develop books-on-demand programs because most of the books in the present study are high-quality, inexpensive, new, and easy to obtain; ILL titles represent research needs of university community; multiple library patrons will benefit; equity will be added to the library's collection; and ILL titles are likely to circulate again. Originality/value ‐ Previous studies report results of pilot books-on demand programs. The current study provides background reasons for a books-on-demand program (reading book reviews of titles borrowed through ILL) and presents a new aspect of the relationship between collection development and ILL.
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Keywords: Collections management; Interlending; Libraries

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2006

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