Using ILL to Supplement Library Resources
You find a reference to a book or an article that is on point for a seminar paper – but it isn’t at Biddle, on campus, or available as a pdf. Do you give up in defeat and look for a substitute resource that you can get on campus? Your topic is somewhat obscure and a search of LOLA and Franklin by subject or keyword just doesn’t give you the “right” hits. Are you resigned to look for a new topic?
The answer to both questions is “No!” You have a valuable resource available to you that can solve both problems – the WorldCat database with FirstSearch Interlibrary Loan functions.
WorldCat is a database of titles owned by over 10,000 libraries around the world, with over 1.4 billion items available through interlibrary loan (ILL). What is ILL? ILL is a service offered by Biddle that enables you to get articles and borrow books not available on campus. It’s an easy-to-use online service that not only lets you request items that you already know about, but also has search capabilities to identify unknown materials through subject and keyword searches.
To get started click “Library” on the Goat page, and then click “Interlibrary Loan” in the left column. This takes you to the ILL summary page with a link to the step-by-step process for placing an ILL request https://common.law.upenn.edu/bll/WebPages/ILLSearching.aspx
. (The directions explain that you will first need to use Infotrieve if you are looking for an article, but Infotrieve is easy to use and much like shopping online.)
Here is the search screen for FirstSearch:
WorldCat Advanced Search
Input your information – such as keyword, title, author, or subject – and select the appropriate category from the pull-down menu. You can further refine your search by using the limiters including year, language, and format type, such as books, or serial publications for journal titles.
From your result screen select a title for more detailed information. Is it something you would like to read? If you know it's not available in Biddle or on campus, you can place your ILL request. Just click the ILL button located in the upper left of the screen.
Fill in your name, email and status. If the item is in Biddle, or on campus but not available for you to use, just note the reason in the Comments box (for example signed out, not on shelf). Click “Submit” and you have placed your ILL request. When it arrives, usually in 5-10 days, you will receive an email telling you how to retrieve your material. Copies are yours to keep; books must be returned by the due date on the book band, or a renewal requested by following the directions. While we try to get every item requested through ILL, there are times that we are just unable to locate a library that can supply it to us. When that happens we will contact you.
Give ILL a try – it’s a great way to supplement the resources available on campus. If you have any questions, contact Merle Slyhoff, Collection Development & Resource Sharing Librarian, T-212, firstname.lastname@example.org.