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Conference Proceeding

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Lavery Library at St. John Fisher College previously had policies that did not allow us to lend textbooks or DVDs to other libraries and prohibited our patrons from borrowing textbooks. However, an increased desire to stop saying "no" to ILL requests led us to revisit those policies. We looked at our reasons for not lending or borrowing these items and wondered: did these policies actually help our patrons and adhere to ILL best practices?

We decided that our policies were not in our patrons' best interests; nor were they in the best interests of the ILL community. In the past year, we have worked to slowly find ways to lend and borrow more items like textbooks and DVDs through ILL. Starting with leisure DVDs in 2016, we set up guidelines to help us lend while also ensuring that our patrons still had access. Next, we began lending textbooks and academic DVDs on a case-by-case basis as we worked out a policy for lending these more expensive items. Finally, coordinating with our Circulation and Acquisitions departments, we set up a policy for borrowing textbooks, which gives our patrons access to more materials.

Since we stopped saying "no," our processes have increased communication between our ILL, Circulation, and Acquisitions departments, and have provided a way for us to connect patrons with more of the resources that they need. Additionally, we have become better lenders, as we are able to lend more of our collection to others. When more libraries also begin to stop saying "no," we can truly provide a better collection for all of our patrons.


Presented at the IDS Project Conference in Utica, New York on July 28, 2017.

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