The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the historical development of interlibrary loan, identify key milestones such as the codification of ILL practices and development of new technologies to facilitate those practices, and assess the impact that changes in technology and publishing are having upon resource sharing in the digital age.
The authors conduct an extensive historical review of global developments in resource sharing and then conduct a PEST analysis of societal factors affecting present day resource sharing.
Resource sharing continues to grow but there is a need to work together to find solutions to problems of distributed knowledge bases, incompatible systems, and electronic formats which often prohibit sharing of materials between libraries. Librarians must work with publishers, politicians, and systems developers to ensure that there is the same or equivalent rights to electronic materials as there is to print publications and that resource sharing systems can support new models of sharing and acquiring materials in multiple formats.
This paper provides a global perspective on the challenges of library resource sharing in the digital age.
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