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Best Practices for Resource Sharing

When you see or hear the phrase best practices for resource sharing what comes to mind? Ten Network members recently shared their favorite resource sharing best practices during the February 2014 Breezing Along with the RML webinar. (Session recording: Every one of these people have many years of experience with resource sharing.

Margaret Bandy is the Medical Librarian and Manager for Library and Knowledge Services at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver and has been the medical librarian there for 35 years.

Sara Katsh, recently retired after 40 years as a medical librarian, was the library manager for the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses at the AORN Research and Information Center in Denver.

Both were involved in the Colorado Council of Medical Librarians Library Cooperation Task Force. Here are a couple of tips they offered:

  • If you find that you are overburdened by requests from specific libraries, it is perfectly permissible to request that those libraries place you farther down in their routing tables or remove you altogether.
  • Be sure your DOCLINE institutional record is updated both as a borrower and lender for the delivery methods you accept and those that you offer. (Review it at least once a year.)

Jerry Carlson has been the solo librarian for Poudre Valley Health System, now University of Colorado Health – North, since 1989.

  • When e-mailing an article, copy and paste the [DOCLINE] request form into the body of the message. That way the receiving library immediately has the request number, patron name, and lender ID to check it in and forward it to the patron.

Michlene Mankin has been the medical librarian at Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette, Wyoming for the past 15 years.

  • If you need a “rush” article be sure to call ahead to make sure it is available and can be sent. (It’s always permissible to call ahead when needing an article “stat”.)

Jackie Hittner is the Library Services Manager at the American Association of Orthodontists’ Charles R. Baker Memorial Library. She has been a professional librarian since 1983.

Darrel Willoughby has been a Veterans Affairs hospital librarian in Omaha, Nebraska for almost 10 years.

Jackie and Darrel shared the same favorite best practice:

  • Set up email notifications in DOCLINE to get an email from DOCLINE when there are requests sitting in your DOCLINE inbox.

Diane Trotter, interlibrary loan manager at University of Wyoming Libraries, has worked at the UW libraries for the last 36 years in cataloging, circulation, and interlibrary loan.

  • When sending a scanned article or document, always send scans at 300 dpi, crop the pages, turn all pages the same direction and check for a complete scan.

Kitty Serling is the Medical Librarian at Carl R. Ferris Medical Library, Research Medical Center in Kansas City.

  • License agreements for electronic products often have embargos. Thus, even though someone may indicate that they have a title in an electronic format, they may still be unable to fill a request for an ePub. (So, make sure to send an email or phone first to make sure that here is no embargo before sending request.)

Brenda Pfannenstiel is the Manager of Library Services, Health Sciences Library, Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics in Kansas City.

  • We rarely send an Urgent Patient Care request [in DOCLINE,] but when we do we find that many libraries we contact who claim to do Urgent requests cannot in fact respond in a timely manner. (Make sure that your settings in DOCLINE in Services & Fees: ILL Services are correct and accurately reflect your library’s services.)
  • It is important to keep Serhold records accurate, for successful routing of requests.

Judith Healy has been the ILL Librarian at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska for 21 years and is also one of the reference librarians.

  • Have two separate email addresses, with one devoted only to ILL. This address receives all incoming ILL documents from other institutions and all internal ILL requests whether submitted through in-house forms or vendor generated.
  • Setup email categories and folders for your internal patrons who submit email request. (Get those email requests for articles organized!)

Jim Honour, Wyoming/Member Services Coordinator

Additional Resources for
Resource Sharing Best Practices:


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