Last October Yale University Library and five other Ivy Plus Libraries participated in a pilot program to share scans of special collections materials at no cost to BorrowDirect Libraries. BorrowDirect is an unmediated library resource sharing partnership encompassing thirteen Ivy Plus academic institutions Before the pilot, interlibrary loan (ILL) requests for scans of Beinecke materials were canceled by SML/Bass Access Services and the ILL office was told to contact Beinecke directly. In the pilot, SML/Bass Access Services and Beinecke Access Services work to fill these requests through ILLiad and Aeon. Currently, only requests for PDF Scans are eligible for the pilot. Patrons requesting high-resolution scans must still contact Beinecke directly. The pilot runs until October; Access Services and Beinecke plan to review and evaluate the success of the pilot over the summer.
Yale patrons use BorrowDirect to check the availability of and request materials from the combined catalogs of the participating BorrowDirect schools, within four days. BorrowDirect can be used to obtain items that are unavailable for checkout at Yale, not held by the Yale University Library, or are on course reserve. To participate in the pilot, the Yale Library ILLiad system, which is used to fulfill requests from BorrowDirect, was integrated to work with Aeon, the special collections circulation system. Fortunately, Atlas Systems developed both applications and natively supports this integration.
After setting up the integration, ILLiad staff can send ILL requests directly to specific queues in Aeon for special collections staff to review. Aeon staff can respond to the requests directly from within the Aeon client. Request management occurs in both the Lending and Document Delivery modules within the ILLiad client. Before the start of this pilot, requests for special collections material through BorrowDirect would require the patron and Beinecke staff to communicate via email. Now that integration between ILLiad and Aeon is complete the requesting process has been significantly streamlined for patrons and fulfillment staff.
Once the pilot concludes, Yale Library and the other participating Ivy Plus Libraries will discuss and determine next steps for this service.