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Assessing the value of ILL to our users: a comparative study of three US libraries

Micquel Little (Claremont University Consortium, Claremont, California, USA)
Lars Leon (University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 16 February 2015




This study aims to combine the patron perception of the interlibrary loan services offered in three libraries: an ARL campus, a small private liberal arts campus, and a large state public library. The goal was to have a vehicle for gathering both satisfaction and value information for each of the services provided by a resource-sharing operation to cross-analyze patron perceptions, satisfaction and value placed on resource sharing at each institution.


A survey was created to gather the information desired, and it was designed to be completed in less than 15 minutes. The survey wording was adjusted depending on the individual participating organization to provide appropriate text for the local patrons. However, the basic content was similar for each library. The survey included an optional field where the patron could enter their name to allow follow-up as desired. It also included an open question to capture anything else the previous questions did not.


This case studies finding include recognition of recurring features found valuable to library patrons utilizing all three institutions: access, speed and people. Each library was able to identify areas of strength and areas to improve upon within their services. Each library also gained insight into their patrons’ perceptions of the resource-sharing services offered. This insight is being used for further assessment studies, as well as to implement changes on each local campus.


This study provides insight and data into resource-sharing assessment as related to patron value. As the literature review shows, no studies of this kind have been done recently or across the institutions included: small private academic, large research academic or large public library.



Little, M. and Leon, L. (2015), "Assessing the value of ILL to our users: a comparative study of three US libraries", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 34-40.



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