I think Shannon's description describes a huge part of the puzzle. Everywhere I have worked I've helped people who are not able to access materials within their own institution, much less materials from their university 3 states away. Part of the problem does involve changes in interface, interoperability among software, changes within our organization and changes outside our ability to influence.

Monica Corcoran, MLIS
Medical Librarian
Deaconess Hospital
600 Mary Street
Evansville, IN 47747
812-450-7255 (fax)

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of shannon clever
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: ILL and Ethics

It may not be either.  You have to factor in convenience which may include location and/or access to the resources.  Many people are now doing distance learning. How many of us find it difficult as professionals to keep up with every change that happens in the various search interfaces.  I have countless students who have electronic access to their institution's resources, but can never find anything.  Then there is also the assignment factor.  Recently I had a request for qualitative and quantitative nursing articles on Gargage in Garbage Out. Even broadening the search to include the concept of poor documentation didn't yield much.  I had to wonder what the instuctor was thinking.
As far as policy though, I'm with the original requestor.  Will fill what we can for "free" which is an oxymoron in itself.  I never say "free" - at no charge.  I'm curious if the item is available electronically and you could show the person could have bought it themselves.

Shannon Clever, MSLS
VA Medical Center
510 Butler Ave.
Martinsburg, WV 25401

304-263-0811 x3826 [log in to unmask] 

----- Original Message -----
From: Catherine Arnott Smith <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: ILL and Ethics

I agree with the respondent who talked about the importance of pointing the adult student back at her/his college library when necessary. Not only does the college library itself need to justify its existence with usage statistics, and need to predict future usage by looking at patterns of lending and borrowing, but it also educates the student about library resources. As part of my research I have done a lot of interviewing of public library workers in Wisconsin and outside Wisconsin over the past 5 years, and I was initially very surprised to hear from reference librarians in very large public libraries that they have a lot of requests from the general public for nursing and allied health literature. Turns out that this segment of the "general public" is actually students in community and vocational and technical colleges and distance programs who need material for a course. The reference librarians and I talked about this and couldn't decide whether
 this reflected (1) badly resourced community/vocational/technical college libraries (2) badly promoted resourced community/vocational/technical college libraries or (3) both of the above. ...

-- Catherine Arnott Smith, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Studies
Room 4255 Helen C. White Hall
600 N. Park Street, Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608) 890-1334
Fax: (608) 263-4849

My personal website:

The machine does not isolate us from the great problems of nature but plunges us more deeply into them.(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Music is neither old nor modern: it is either good or bad music, and the date at which it was written has no significance whatever. (Peter Warlock - The Sackbut - 1926)

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