Resource sharing among ARL libraries in the US: 35 years of growth

Collette Mak (Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Publication date: 22 February 2011



This paper aims to identify the factors that have led the USA to be one of the few countries in the world that has seen interlending and document supply continue to increase.


The factors are identified, reviewed and assessed.


It was found that the effectiveness of resource sharing facilitated by intra‐ and inter‐state cooperatives using OCLC as a framework is a major factor, others being the improvement in discovery tools, requesting processes and the more recent improvements in the delivery process. Finally, the widespread subsidizing of access and delivery enables cheap or even free use of document supply.


This paper is the only study so far that addresses the current puzzle of US “exceptionalism” for interlending and document supply.



Mak, C. (2011), "Resource sharing among ARL libraries in the US: 35 years of growth", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 26-31.

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