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Everyone needs good neighbours: the UK as an international document supplier

Jean Bradford (Librarian Serials and Inter‐Library Document Supply, Arts and Social Sciences Library, University of Bristol Information Services, Bristol, UK)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 30 May 2008




This paper seeks to report the results of an investigation into the way that British libraries supply copies and returnables in response to requests from overseas libraries.


An e‐mail questionnaire was sent to the mailing list lis‐ to explore the policies and practices of other libraries in the UK.


The research showed that there is great variation between British libraries in their response to requests from overseas. Some libraries supplied very few items and others received many more requests. As an informal survey was used there is an opportunity for further more systematic research into the policies and practices of UK libraries. It is suggested that more use can be made of web pages to provide information about the policies and services that individual libraries offer. It is reported that the use of credit cards and IFLA vouchers as methods of payment has removed some barriers to co‐operation. IDS librarians are encouraged to do more to help their colleagues overseas as UK libraries need to obtain copies and returnables from their neighbours outside the UK.


The study gives insights into the workings of the UK system of providing loans and copies to other countries from the perspective of a major research library.



Bradford, J. (2008), "Everyone needs good neighbours: the UK as an international document supplier", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 74-78.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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