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Interlending and document supply trends in NHS North West health libraries 2003/2004 to 2006/2007

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Abstract Background: 

The Library and Information for Health Network North West (LIHNN) represents health libraries in Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Merseyside and Wirral. LIHNN members take part in a regional co-operative network supporting interlending and document supply. Methods: 

Data were analysed over a 4-year period to identify trends and patterns. In addition, a literature review was conducted to compare trends seen in NHS libraries to those trends seen in other sectors and in other countries. Results/trends: 

Between 2003/2004 and 2006/2007 there was a significant drop in document supply activity reported by NHS North West libraries from 59 321 to 37 134 copies, representing a fall of 37.4%. During the same period, lending between libraries stayed constant. Discussion: 

The NHS supplies a significant number of documents to its users and it is investigating a number of options to increase efficiencies. The observed fall in document supply activity has been reported in several sectors and has been attributed to a number of cofactors. Although the fall in document supply activity is expected to continue, a critical mass of information is likely to remain behind subscription barriers and this, in turn, will necessitate supply from external sources.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Kostoris Library, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, 2: Royal Oldham Hospital, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Oldham and 3: Health Care Libraries Unit, Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust, Wigan, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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