The FREESHARE library group has 1400+ DOCLINE libraries as members and represents the largest DOCLINE library group. Understandably, library staff can be lulled into joining FREESHARE with the prospect of free article delivery 24/7 while at the same time having a large cadre of libraries from which to borrow. Below are a few thoughts about FREESHARE membership of which everyone should be aware.
First, FREESHARE libraries are committed to providing all materials, regardless of service level, at no charge. This includes any surcharges and normal rushes as well as urgent patient care requests. To quote Julie Kwan, Associate Director of the NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region (PSR), “This has been the practice since the inception of FREESHARE. If you receive a charge from another FREESHARE library, get in touch with them. It is most likely an oversight that is easily corrected.” PSR is also charged with maintaining the FRESHARE policy page at: http://www.nnlm.gov/rsdd/freeshare/index.html
Second, if a library’s collection is unique, there is a possibility of unanticipated busy periods. Rather than being a negative, this is an indication of the scarcity of the product.
Third, if FREESHARE is not right for you, and your library is an open DOCLINE library in the SE/A, one of these sixteen smaller (SE/A only) library groups may be of interest to join:
Atlanta Health Science Libraries Consortium – AHSLC
Association of Memphis Area Health Science Libraries – AMAHSL
Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries – CONBLS
District of Columbia Area Health Science Libraries – DCAHSL
Georgia Interactive Network for Medical Information – GaIN
Mid-Atlantic Chapter Lending Network – MACLend
Maryland Association of Health Sciences Librarians – MAHSL
Mississippi Biomedical Library Consortium – MBLC
Miami Health Sciences Library Consortium – MHSLC
Northern Virginia Health Sciences Librarians – NVHSL
South Carolina Health Information Network – SCHIN
Southeastern Network on DOCLINE – SEND
Southwest Virginia Health Information Librarians – SWVAHILI
Tampa Bay Medical Library Network – TABAMLN
Tennessee Health Sciences Library Association – THeSLA
Tidewater Health Science Librarians – THSL
Please note that each library group has governance and eligibility requirements, some more formalized than others. Our RML policy states that Borrow Only libraries are not allowed membership in any library group. Additionally, there are library groups that overlap two or more NN/LM regions and these tend to be collection specific, such as Pediatrics, Osteopathic or Naval libraries. If you are interested in one of these library groups, or if you have questions about library groups in general, please send an email to PJ Grier (SE/A DOCLINE Coordinator).
Remember, you can view members in any library group by going to DOCLINE’s Search Builder feature. Select More Search Options on the Institutions tab homepage. Then view the drop-down Select Search Field and select the appropriate Library Group. Next, Add to Search, the name of the library group and then click Search at page bottom. The Search-Results will display all of the Institutions (a.k.a. open DOCLINE Libraries) in the particular library group. As with any DOCLINE search result you have the opportunity to print or download the information.