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Here is the compilation of responses regarding my query about "length of time
to receive interlibrary loans after request is placed in the system".
My response to the committee is Standard: 7 days or less - search of the
literature and benchmarking with other institutions produced no standard norm.
No less than seven days is used and some simply state they will try to comply
with customer needs.

Now for the responses -

Not aware of any norms.  Policy states the library ties to comply with the
patron's turn-around time needs.  The library expectation for "normal" response
is still 10 workind days, but we will requests fax for emergency, same day or
24 hours as the case may be.  I think most libraries keep this "loose" since
the quick turn-around time has to take into consideration the pressure such
requests put on the reciprocal library.

My standard for inside my consortium (other hospitals in my county) is 7 days.
Outside my county is 7-14 days.  I usually end up in the 7-10 range.

Turnnaround has been around 7 days for the last few years.

Search in library literature found no specific standards.  Articles discussed
methods of insuring prompt service without defining that.  We tell patrons to
allow 7 days but generally closer to 3.

You might check to see what NLM's standard is.  Our standard is to ship within
3 business days.

As I see it, the problem with using ILL turnaround time as a measure is that
once it leaves your library the request is pretty much beyond your control.
Seven days is what we aim for, based on years of experience, but there are many
variables you can't do anything about.

It's not entirely beyond your control.  You have a choice of who to send the
request to, and this impacts on the turnaround time quite a bit.

Right, as long as you are willing to pay for it.  Unfair to full time libraries
who are part of consortiums to choose them over small part timers.

It might be wiser to set the variable as the time between when a patron makes a
request and when the patron receives the item (this is the 'real' time it takes
for Ills, no?)
Then you have several elements that all effect the total time it takes: -
- how fast you get the request;
-how fast you process the request into DOCLINE;
- how long it takes to get a response from a lending library partner;
- how long it takes to receive the item, once the lending library has sent
- how quickly you put it into the hands of the patron once you've received it.

You might look at your quaarterly Docline reports for the average turnaround
time for other libraries filling your requests.  This is not a standard, but
might work as a benchmark.

I was asked to provide ILLs within 3 days and was going to ask others what is
considered the norm.  Please let me know the results.

Medlibbers, as you can see the answers vary.  thanks again for your responses.
Edith McHenry
CRMC Library