Increasing the Sharing of Special Collections Materials

The Interlibrary Loan Advisory Group is charged with developing and investigating ways to improve interlibrary loan and document delivery services on all campuses by taking an active leadership role and promoting communication and cooperation between UC ILL units and other groups as appropriate. Our declared intent is to facilitate sharing of library resources and to provide expeditious and priority access to these resources for the University of California faculty, staff and students. We seek to make the concept of University-wide access to library materials a reality.

Interlibrary Loan units are user-centric organizations and as such are expected to place the user’s needs at the center of any discussion concerning resource sharing. As advocates for our users we recognize that their expectations and needs have surpassed the current level of availability of Special Collections materials within the UC system of libraries. Indeed, our users expect that the widely promoted concept of "one University one Library" should apply to Special Collections Materials as well. In order to accomplish an increase in the sharing of Special Collections materials and employ the readily available technology and infrastructure of Interlibrary Loans, RSC-IAG recommends the following actions:

  • Implement a pilot study beginning 1/1/01 and continuing until 6/30/01 wherein CDL Requests for Special Collections materials are not blocked, but sent to the review file of the patron's Borrowing Unit. If they cannot locate a circulating copy, they may send the request on to the library which holds the item in their Special Collections. The decision to loan or not will remain with each campus’s Special Collections Department. This will allow both Interlibrary Loan staff and Special Collections staff to assess the actual request frequency for these materials. The current system does not allow us to gauge the real demand for materials of these types which may limit our ability to find creative solutions to the problem of how to make accessible special collections materials.

  • Follow established procedures at each campus for processing Special Collections requests. If necessary, the lending library may choose to ‘CONDITIONAL’ the borrowing library to obtain more time for evaluation at the lending site. Procedures are listed on the UC Manual of ILL Policies and Procedures:

  • The Lending Library’s Special Collection’s Department will select the method of transport (TRICOR, FedEx, UPS, other…) to be used by the Lending Library’s ILL unit for shipment of each item loaned and also for return shipment by the Borrowing Library’s ILL unit.

  • Special Collections shall identify locations where loaned materials will be placed for patron use.

Mindful of the available technology, our users’ expectations (current and future), and contemporary library trends, RSC-IAG strongly recommends that HOSC investigate a pilot project o determine the feasibility of supplying special collections materials in a digital format. Similar projects are taking place at other academic libraries in the nation and may provide users with “on demand” access with little or no damage to the collections, lower cost, and greater accessibility to unique materials, otherwise not accessible.

Sent to Venita Jorgensen on 12/1/00


Last updated: April 10, 2013