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DOCLINE Library Groups: Let’s Get Ready for Routing by Library Group!

At MLA, NLM announced that Routing by Library Group is a development goal for DOCLINE in 2005, to be implemented sometime in 2006. Routing by Library Group will expand a library’s routing table capability beyond the 180 libraries that can currently be included. Although the specific details about how this will work are not yet available, over the next several months let’s take the opportunity to make sure that library group information in DOCLINE institutional records is correct. But, first, here is some background information on library groups.

What is a Library Group?

A DOCLINE Library Group is a group of libraries that have a relationship to each other and that cannot be identified in any other way when searching DOCLINE. For example, all DOCLINE libraries in a particular region or state are not considered library groups because you can search DOCLINE by region and state. Library Groups are established by NLM and listed in DOCLINE. A DOCLINE Library Group must include at least eleven members.

Traditionally, DOCLINE Library Groups were used to create union lists of journal holdings. You can get a union list for any library group of which you are a member in standard format – to view and print – and in delimited format – to save to a database. You can also search DOCLINE for serial holdings by library group. Perhaps most important, many library groups have agreements to not charge each other for DOCLINE requests; inclusion in a library group provides easy identification.

What Library Groups are used in the Pacific Southwest?

We have 34 DOCLINE Library Groups in our Region. You will find a list of them at DOCLINE® Library Groups in the Pacific Southwest Region. Each of the Medical Library Association Chapters in our Region is its own library group. Examples of long-standing smaller regional groups include the Central Arizona Biomedical Libraries, the Inland Empire Medical Library Consortium, and the San Francisco Biomedical Library Network. Some library groups include members of a particular hospital system, such as Kaiser Permanente Library System and Sutter Health Library Network. Others are topical such as the Chiropractic Libraries Consortium and Pediatrics. Groups of military libraries form another category; examples include the Air Force Medical Library Consortium, the Consortium of Naval Libraries, and VALNET, the Department of Veterans Affairs Library Network. The two largest are the Free Reciprocal Interlibrary Loan Group and EFTS. Three library groups are new or new to this Region: Health and Human Services Libraries Consortium, Health Departments, and Medical Library Consultants.

What can you do right now?

Look at your DOCLINE institutional record. Are the library groups correct? Do you know what each group represents? If you are a library group coordinator, have you created a web site for your group that should be linked from DOCLINE? Has your group agreed to a specific charge for requests supplied by other members? Contact Julie Kwan or Marco Tamase regarding any changes.

What can the NN/LM PSR regional office do?

We plan to contact the official representative of each DOCLINE Library Group to verify the libraries that are included in each group. We will not do this for FreeShare since, by definition, libraries can join at their own discretion. Because the groups vary in size and scope, we may use different procedures to update the membership lists.

We will also respond to any questions you have about DOCLINE Library Groups or your membership in them. Please feel free to contact Julie Kwan or Marco Tamase.

More information

For more information about DOCLINE Library Groups, go to these DOCLINE FAQs.

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