Related product I-Share

Information for ILLINET Libraries

Using I-Share to Request Materials through Interlibrary Loan

May 26, 2021

After doing a lot of workflow testing, CARLI has decided not to reinstate ILLINET library "direct borrowing" in Alma. This service has been in place since the late 1980's and allowed non-I-Share Illinois libraries to use I-Share to place requests for I-Share materials. The service was suspended along with all I-Share resource sharing in March 2020 as libraries began to close in response to COVID. In short, we have not found an efficient and secure method for this process in Alma and Primo VE.

This service has had many drawbacks since its outset. Borrowing libraries have had to keep offline records of the patron for whom the item is being requested, lending libraries have had to check items out before putting them in the delivery service leaving them with no current tracking data, and the workflows for these lending transactions did not follow the same steps as loans between I-Share libraries.

We have explored options for this service in Alma and we believe it is not practical to try to shoehorn this into the functionality that is called an Automated Fulfillment Network in Alma. Unlike Voyager and our earlier systems, Alma's discovery service, Primo VE requires both a username and password to gain access to functionality like requesting and renewing materials. Most libraries handle the password management by integrating Alma with their campus directory single sign-on services. There is no campus directory equivalent for ILLINET libraries and CARLI is not currently able to support the overhead of setting up and managing such a service.

We have informed RAILS and IHLS of this change and are informing individual libraries as they contact us. We encourage them to look into other options such as OCLC's interlibrary loan options. We are also working to identify materials that are still checked out to ILLINET libraries and help I-Share libraries in getting those items returned.

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