Below is the original post, and the replies that were received.  It looks
like my memory was faulty, although I have not seen any statistics from
either NLM or OCLC.  

Ellen
Ellen Rothbaum, MS, AHIP
Assistant Director
Daniel Carroll Payson Medical Library
North Shore University Hospital
300 Community Drive
Manhasset, NY 11030
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Tel:  (516) 562-4324
Fax:  (516) 562-2865


Original post:

I remember seeing somewhere that interlibrary loan traffic dropped about 10
percent in 2005.  Is that correct?  Does it apply to DOCLINE only, or does
it also apply to OCLC and RLIN.  Thanks


Replies:

1.  I haven't seen that; mine have certainly not dropped, but a lot of mine
is OCLC.  Please let me know if you find out more.  I would be surprised as
many of us have had cuts in our journals budget.  Of course in this day and
age, if someone can't get it immediately, they might not want it.

2.  I don't remember seeing that but I know that if anything my interlibrary
loans both borrowing and lending have increased in 2005. 

3.  This past year I began to note on all my searches the free online places
I found patron requested articles:  copy=in house,FREE=PubMed, Science
Direct=ELSEVIER,HIGHWIRE, EBSCO, WILEY, etc.  Now to find the time to add
them up.  I know it was more than 10% more like 30%.

4.  I have been watching for this thread, but haven't seen any replies.  I
am very interested in what response you receive, as our overall ILL numbers
dropped for our fiscal year (2004/05) and I have already had to try to sum
up "why".  Of course, I noted that we lost our need to order as many of the
"Faxon Journals" (we were one of the libraries hit) and that we gained a
substantial number of e-journals.  But, I also noticed a drop in requests
received from DocLine & OCLC.  I assumed a majority
of this was due to our cleaning up our holdings lists during the past two
years, thus decreasing the number of requests for items not held.  But, if I
missed a better explanation, I would love to be able to have it as part of
the justification. 

5.  I don't know for certain.  Mine as borrower and lender dropped some
Jul-Nov 2005 from the same time period in 2004. But as lender it started
picking back up late November to present and the same for borrowing.  Some
of that may be the decision for libraries adding their electronic holdings
to Serhold. We are getting a lot more requests in the last two months for
articles in journals where are holdings are electronic only.  The fill rate
for these for Docline requests falls below our usual fill rate because of
license retrictions for many titles where articles from the current 3
months-12+ months aren't available for download.

Also because individuals are doing searching on PubMed and requesting very
recent articles(how many times as lender and borrower have we seen PubMed
cites with E-Pub ahead of publication notices in the citation during 2005
and 2006?), we are getting more requests for items not available in hardcopy
yet, and may or may not be downloadable online.

I think part of the initial drop had to do with more libraries paying for
online institutional access which either patrons can access and download
articles or libraries can, rather than have to do interlibrary loan. Also,
who is doing research and when their grant submission and research deadlines
fall also affects borrowing trends.

Last year and this year so far, have been busier in Jan and Feb than Oct and
Nov which were our usual "crunch time" months. Customers are more apt to
wait right up to deadline time and give us a smaller time window to fill
requests as so many desire delivery right to their email, naturally, than to
have to come to the library to pick up hardcopy articles or have hardcopies
sent via intercampus or first-class mail.
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