>From: ziayaa Thu Feb 02 15:58:34 1995 >To: [log in to unmask]@ >Dear Medlib Friends-- > Today one of my physicians sent down a bibliography and told my staff to, >"Get them all". Ten articles can be copied from our collection, but the >other 42 are textbooks. In other words, we'd have to request the loan of 42 >originals. I think this is unreasonable, but I don't have a policy in place >to cover such a situation. > > How would you handle? Thanks for the help. > >Alana Ziaya, Medical Library Manager >Marshfield Clinic >1000 N. Oak Ave. >Marshfield WI 54449 >715-387-5183 (voice) Internet: [log in to unmask] > You have my sympathies! I had a physician who is writing a review article, and requested over 200 interlibrary loan articles this summer... I don't think you can arbitrarily set a limit on the number of items you can request for a client; if the person is doing research s/he may very well NEED all 42 references to do the background work properly! What you can do is explain that first of all, it's going to take time to locate, request and receive everything -- it isn't physically possible to have all 42 items in their hands by tomorrow. Spread your requests around so as not to overburden your library partners (call us if you want; our lending policies are lenient). The other big factor may be money -- if you have to pay $8-10 dollars apiece for the loans, you've eaten up a big chunk of your ILL budget for one patron and that isn't fair. Our review-writer was very reasonable when we explained to him about libraries charging for loans, and that our budget just wouldn't cover that level of expenditure. We got everything we could for him for free, and then he paid for the articles we were charged for -- to the tune of almost $400.00. Perhaps if you offer that sort of compromise, your patron will either decide s/he doesn't in fact need all 42, or you'll get some reimbursement. We're not exactly overstaffed here either (2 full-time professionals. Period), but by requesting a couple dozen articles at a time, we got them all over a period of eight weeks or so (again, a reasonable compromise in view of the volume) without sending me (the ILL librarian) to the nuthouse. I just don't think we can be the arbiters of what our clientele needs -- they are. We're here to provide a service, and to do it as cost-effectively and efficiently as we can. But there is some wiggle room to provide top-notch service without being doormats. Besides, I rather _like_ impressing these demanding clients -- you never know when they might turn around and be demanding on your behalf (our library got moved from a basement to a bigger space with a view! thanks to a vocal doc with some clout!). Good luck!