Special Collection/PIR project

October 2001

A total of 113 Special Collections Request Loan Forms from the various campuses have been received.  The responses summarized below were for requests initiated between 4/20/01 and 8/29/91.  Of the 113 responses received, 35 were discarded.  Twenty-three of the discarded requests were not for Special Collection items and twelve were not PIR requests, leaving a total of seventy-eight requests examined for this report. 

Much of the data on the forms was incomplete, and therefore many of the statistics on this report may appear not to correlate with other statistics.  For instance, the method of delivery totals will not correlate to the number of Special Collections Loans because the method of delivery was not completed on all the forms. 

Twenty-six Special Collection items were loaned using the PIR system.  Of those loaned, 13 were photocopies (50%).  Ten items were loaned requiring the borrower use the item in the Special Collections Reading Room.  One item was going to be loaned however the campus did not update OCLC to reflect this and the request was automatically forwarded to the next lender in the string; the item was not loaned and the request was eventually cancelled.  This item is counted in the “requests denied” information below. 

Forty-nine of the seventy-eight (62%) requests were denied.  Forty-four percent of the requests denied (22) were denied because the items were available from other sources.  Nine of the requests (18%) were denied due to collection rules that prohibited lending.  Seven requests (14%) were denied because the material was considered fragile or too rare to loan.  The rest of the requests, eleven in all, were denied for a variety of reasons, including, “the librarian denied request,” “item has heavy local use”, and “request cancelled.” 

Of the 48 requests denied, 15 (31%) were later filled by some other institution.  These  requests were filled primarily by university libraries, although a few of them were filled by public libraries. 

The Special Collections libraries made the decision about loaning the materials very quickly.  Of the 77 responses recorded, 59 (76%) of them were made either on the same day the request was forwarded to the Special Collections Library or then next day.  The longest amount reported for the decision about loaning the material was one item which took 31 days. 

Only six UC campuses received requests to loan items during the trial period, although all nine of the campuses made requests. 

When items were loaned it was almost always for a period of two weeks. 

Overnight couriers were the preferred method of sending items. 

 When items were lent, there were restrictions also placed on their use.  In many cases photocopies only were sent, in others the item was sent with the requirement the patron use it in the Special Collections Reading Room only. 

As stated earlier, much of the data on the return forms was incomplete. 


Last updated: April 10, 2013