Professional Development

ILLiad Conference Round up

Sunday, March 28, 2010 2:47 pm

The ILLiad International conference, held Thursday-Friday, March 25-26, 2010 in Virginia Beach, VA had many sessions whose common content all boiled down to this: collaboration is key; communication is critical; promotion is needed; and evaluation is necessary. There were a few other things that I learned, but those are the highest level takeaways from the day and a half. These are, I would guess, the same takeaways from previous ILLiad conferences, but the differences this year highlighted HOW we collaborate, communicate, promote and evaluate.

Chip Nilges of OCLC was the keynoter for the conference. His address was very interesting and among the most salient points he made were:

* Before cloud computing, institutions spent 70% of their time on infrastructure, allowing only 30% for innovation and creation. Cloud computing allows for that ratio to reverse.

* Collaboration is key to working at web scale. Aggregated data supports multiple users.

* When taken together, circulations and ILL requests in libraries nation-wide average 5,200 requests fulfilled every second. (That’s bigger than Amazon.)

* Patron expectations are changing, and OCLC’s mission is to meet user needs in the way they’ve become accustomed.

To identify areas for future development OCLC surveyed users asking “If libraries could mail you this book, providing a return address envelop for a small fee that covered shipping would you find this valuable?” 34% of respondents said it would be “valuable” or “extremely valuable”. And 65% of users said a “global library card” that would be valid everywhere is “valuable” or “extremely valuable.” Not surprisingly, the greatest percentage of users who rated the universal library card “extremely valuable” were University students.

The first session of the day I attended was “Text Messaging (BAM!) – A quick, low cost way to pump your customer service up a notch.” Presenters Dave Williams and Ken Kinslow from Notre Dame and Barbara Coopey, Joyce Harwell and Shane Burris from Penn State discussed how you can push notifications to users when materials arrive by adding, (or having them add) their cell phone number with the extension that corresponds to their provider into their ILLiad account field that contains their email address. The presenters discussed the value to the users, (who as we know prefer texting to email) because of the immediacy of the notification. They suggested shortening the notification message that is sent so that it is text friendly. Eliminating the title and the users’ name for instance, and shortening the contact information, the message can be whittled down to less than the goal of 150 characters. They discussed ways to promote the service, (I think it would require little promotion, just notification.) And they also showed some statistics that the length of time between notification and book pickup for users who had implemented the text messaging service dropped from just under 48 hours to about 6 hours! (Though the presenter did caution that they’d only started the service in January, and their participation rate is still very small.) Setting up this is a no-brainer, and we will begin to do this soon.

The next session I attended was a “Copyright Roundtable” where there were as many interpretations of copyright law and what was allowable under licensing agreements as there were attendees in the room. Not much new content to report but I am extremely glad that we have such a strong commitment to doing copyright right. It is an exceedingly frustrating law, but, especially after hearing the stories related here, I’m confident that we have adopted the best practices for ILL.

My first session of the afternoon was canceled because the presenter was ill. I ended up in a session called “Free for All: ILLiad and Open Access” given by Tina Baich of IUPUI. She gave a very good presentation unearthing sites she’d found that provide free OA content. This is important because, finding freely available information on the web cuts down on customer wait, and eliminates cost to the seeking library. She discussed the difficulty of getting, for instance, electronic theses and dissertations. All of her finding aids she conveniently put together in a delicious list tagged ILLiad10 .

The last session that I attended that day was a session led by Christian DuPont, of Atlas Systems. While I was a little fearful that it might turn out to be nothing more than a promotion for AEON, Atlas’ Special Collections Management software, other than a passing reference, Christian managed to do a good job of describing the tension that increases as libraries promote their unique and special collections on one hand, but are frequently reluctant to share them on the other hand. During the first half of his presentation he shared the experience of one library and what they did to try to create useful workflows between ILL and Special Collections staff. Then he opened the conversation up to those in the audience to share their experiences. Respondents discussed frustrations on both the lending and the borrowing of materials from Special Collections. Frustrations on lending: once an item in special collections is requested, ILL staff basically lose control of the request. They “cancel” or “conditionalize” it and have to pass it off to others who may not have the same desire to fill requests quickly. (ILL staff are all about filling requests quickly.) Frustrations on borrowing: One library experienced a long delay with a special collections office that needed to have a $7 pre-payment before they processed a request. But the borrowing library didn’t have a credit card, and the lending library didn’t utilize IFM (the Fee Management system that OCLC libraries utilize for easy payment.) The ILL and the Special Collections people had to try many avenues to arrange payment, while administrative costs mounted, just to fulfill this request. Christian Dupont and the rest of the participants came away with many ideas on how creating management workflows might ease the requests of items from Special Collections. It was a very enlightening session.

The Friday session was perhaps the most interesting of the sessions I attended. (And in this conference, that says a lot!) The session was called “GIST, The Getting It System Toolkit.” The development of the toolkit came out of the IDS Project.

The toolkit allows for ILL staff to, in a single view, determine for items requested by our borrowers whether it might make more sense to purchase the item than borrow it. From their website: “The Getting It System Toolkit (GIST) is a customizable set of ILLiad tools and workflows that will enhance interlibrary loan and just-in-time acquisitions services; purchase request processing; and cooperative collection development efforts… GIST provides users and the library practical and thoughtful resolution of disparate information sources with key data, such as: uniqueness (for cooperative collection development strategies); free online sources (to reduce cost and/or catalog eBooks just-in-time); reviews and rankings (to add value to the request process); and purchasing options and prices (to give users and libraries options and streamline library work). GIST is flexible, so you can pick or choose which features to use or adapt. ” The documentation on the project is available at The toolkit provides, in a single interface, information on the cost to purchase the item, how many others in your usual borrowing sites own it to lend, whether it is available full text in GoogleBooks or elsewhere. AND IT’S FREE! Cristina and I were both so interested in this tool. We talked about implementing it for much of our trip back to Winston Salem. We can’t wait to begin conversations with others in the library to put this, and many of the other ideas we learned over the 2.5 days, in place soon.

One Response to “ILLiad Conference Round up”

  1. Look forward to talking with you about GIST!

ALA Annual
ALA Midwinter
Career Development for Women Leaders
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
Coalition for Networked Information
Digital Forsyth
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Elon Teaching and Learning Conference
Entrepreneurial Conference
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA)
First-Year Experience Conference
Handheld Librarian
ILLiad Conference
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Journal reading group
Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Library Assessment Conference
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
Music Library Association
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
North Carolina Serials Conference
online course
Online Learning Summit
Open Repositories
Professional Development Center
Site Visits and Tours
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
University Libraries Group
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by, protected by Akismet. Blog with