IFLA Nancy and Lyon 2014: the many faces of resource sharing

Mike McGrath (Leeds, UK)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 16 February 2015



McGrath, M. (2015), "IFLA Nancy and Lyon 2014: the many faces of resource sharing", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 43 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILDS-11-2014-0056



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

IFLA Nancy and Lyon 2014: the many faces of resource sharing

Article Type: General review From: Interlending & Document Supply, Volume 43, Issue 1


The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) congress at Lyon was a sprawling mishmash – you never knew what you would find next – I will elaborate later. In contrast, the satellite event – at least the document delivery one in Nancy – was focussed and of a consistently high quality. Many minds better than mine have struggled with the baggy mess that is the IFLA, and over the years, some improvements have been made. To paraphrase Doctor Johnson – “IFLA is like a dog walking on its hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all”. And indeed, to bring 3,500 librarians from 120 countries together in one place is truly extraordinary, especially in a period where the boundaries of the profession are increasingly blurred as a result of the Internet. To then order it in such a way that everyone receives value for their time and the money spent is valiant and not surprising that it is as it is. But, first to Nancy […].

IFLA document delivery satellite conference in Nancy August 13-14

Nancy is worth a visit quite apart from the excellent conference. The light show in Place Stanislav every evening made me wonder again what extraordinary creatures human beings are to have such creative imaginations – you can see an impression of it on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7weG8_HVJmE, but there are many others.

The conference itself took place at the Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (INIST) building just outside Nancy – a rather gloomy industrial looking building which is hardly surprising, as it was designed to look like factory! I worked at the British Library in Boston Spa for 25 years, so I am well aware that centralised document suppliers, providing hundreds of thousands of requests every year, are inevitably like a mass production line, and this cannot honestly be concealed. However, it was difficult to avoid negative thoughts, as I knew already that INIST had not been operating at all for some months. Raymond Bérard, the Director, opened the conference and gave us the explanation with laudable honesty and directness, beginning with an author who challenged the legality of INIST, indexing his article in RefDoc and then charging when a copy was requested. (RefDoc is the web-based article-level catalogue and ordering platform launched by INIST in 2010). So, what is the problem? The answer is simple – the article was already available freely on the web. The author started a web-based campaign called #inistgate, and the dispute ended up in the French courts. As a result, Refdoc will cease to serve the private sector, will only serve higher education and foreign users and will supply centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) laboratories free of charge at least for paper copies; RefDoc will also harvest links to open-access (OC) articles. In addition, PASCAL will no longer be updated: PASCAL is a bibliographic database of over 20 million references, with coverage in seven interdisciplinary fields – energy, environmental issues, materials, nanosciences and nanotechnologies, safety, cognition, digital communication and information. INIST has been closed since December 2013 following the French Court of Cassation judgement. Document supply had already declined from 700k in the 1990s to 130k in 2013 (Figure 1), reflecting the experience of other suppliers of documents such as the British Library which has declined from 4 to 1 million over the same period.

Figure 1 Revenue and documents supplied at INIST 1999-2013 (CNRS)

INIST will now concentrate on servicing the “long tail” and has embarked on a €60 million retrospective conversion programme.

This sad state of affairs is one of the consequences of the OA movement which has led to authors being far more aware of the licence conditions under which their articles are published. It underlines the need for those who charge for providing documents to be very careful and avoid charging for OA material; this is not facilitated when many publishers are still not flagging articles in hybrid journals as OA.

International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) readers will be familiar with Borrow Direct (Nitecki, 2009), the impressive US service for providing the interlibrary loan (ILL) of returnables – mainly books but also music scores and CDs. It integrates the searching of 11 library catalogues, including Harvard, Princeton and Yale; offers unmediated requesting and a 12-week loan period. In 2013, 230,000 items were shipped to customers, and Peter Collins described the vision for an Amazon-type model. For example, he questioned why books needed to be returned – why not let the customer keep it until it is needed by another customer? “It’s a big ask”, but it would cut costs by 50 per cent. He referred to Stacklife, an experimental service at Harvard, which mashes bibliographic and user data in an innovative way – take a look at it at http://stacklife.harvard.edu/. Peter took us through many innovative developments that his team are working on and concluded with some words of advice – “Identify Trends in Business and eCommerce; Don’t be Afraid to Take Chances; Put Service First; Make it Faster; Make it Easier; Empower Your Users”. The ILDS hopes to be able to carry an article on progress during 2015.

Richard Ebdon then presented for the British Library – I was struck particularly by the British Library filling 11 kilometres of shelving annually with printed material –so much for “everything being digital”! Richard started with some nuggets of information – “Secure e-delivery and ‘just in time’ digitisation enables desktop delivery within 2 hours”, and one could add that the new UK law (June 2014) now prevents publishers trumping copyright, and copyright law allows for the transmission of e-material directly without the payment of an additional fee. (ILDS is carrying an article on this dramatic legal development in the current issue by Graham Cornish.) He took us through recent developments and promised newer ones in 2015. (ILDS is carrying an article from Andy Appleyard, the Head of Document Supply and Customer Services at the British Library, in this issue of ILDS spelling out recent developments in more detail).

Jacqueline Gillet, a frequent writer for ILDS then presented for INIST in more detail than Raymond Bérard, in particular on RefDoc, the €60 million to which Raymond referred to and also about the worrying judgement that in France, the courts have ruled that the sale of copies is considered to be commercial even if only priced to recover costs. The service will be relaunched in September 2014 free of charge to CNRS users, fee based for higher education (HE) researchers and no delivery to private users. In 2015, there will be a free model for HE and further developments on electronic delivery.

Helen Sakrihei, the Director of the Norwegian Repository Library for printed materials, described the use of the facility for ILL, including its high-density storage system. Between 1-3 per cent of loans in Norway are ILL, and there were 800k in 2013 of which 20 per cent were satisfied by the repository library. The automatic storage and retrieval system, the subject of this talk, was ready for use in 2003 and contains 43,500 steel boxes. Books have no permanent place but are tracked by barcode on the publication, the folder and the box. About 800 items are dealt with every day, and the system has a capacity of 150 an hour. Delivery is fast; 99 per cent of users are satisfied, and lending figures have doubled as the facility opened. The National Library is digitising its complete collection of books with 356k completed and 250k will be accessible online. The current building is full, so a new one will be completed in 2015.

The unsung heroes of the library world – the standard bearers that make the whole system work – were represented in Nancy by Claire MacKeigan who described the context and development of the new interoperability standard – International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 18626 which has replaced the late and unlamented 10160 for which Claire gave many reasons – based on outdated Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) technology, which used its own model for ILL transactions and was very difficult to keep up-to-date and relevant. Compared to this previous standard, the development of the new one was incredibly quick – from the proposal in October 2012 to acceptance in December 2013 and publication in July 2014. The standard consists of three messages – “Request message”, “Supplying Library message” and “Requesting Library message”. More details can be found at http://illtransactions.org/ and in Claire’s presentation via the conference website at: http://docdel.inist.fr/?Programme

Advances in technology and, hence, of access in the past 20 years have been most evident in a little recognised but crucial area of knowledge – that of theses. Twenty years ago, access was slow, erratic (often dependent on the policies of individual universities) and very expensive. Now, access in many countries for current theses and, increasingly for older ones is free on the web with immediate access. Sarah Gold from the British Library gave a presentation of the development of Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS) (Electronic Theses Online Service) at the British Library. The growth of EThOS is shown in Figure 2 to over 350,000 record now and growing fast. The full-text theses available are shown in Figure 3, and the extraordinary geographical spread is shown in Figure 4. The growth in usage has nearly trebled in three years from about 10,000 to 30,000. Over 2000 records are added every month, and 30 a day are scanned from paper. Looking rather wider, she noted DART – which is a European resource giving OA to currently 541,300 theses from 562 universities in 28 countries.

Figure 2 Total records in EThOS (Sarah Gould, British Library)

Figure 3 Accessible full-text theses (Sarah Gould, British Library)

Figure 4 Use of EThOS by country (Sarah Gould, the British Library)

Librarians must spend a lot of time checking publisher licences for what they can do and not do. One of the more difficult issues is the provision for ILL which varies from publisher to publisher. Silvana Mangiaracina from the National Research Council in Italy gave a presentation on Archivio Licenze Periodici Elettronici (ALPE), which is a useful tool developed to aid Italian librarians in checking the licence terms for any publisher. The aims of ALPE are:

  • to support resource sharing by enhancing levels of knowledge about permitted uses;

  • to improve communication between librarians and consortia which negotiate with publishers; and

  • to foster Network Inter Library Document Exchange system recognition by publishers as a secure electronic document delivery system that is aligned with the licence agreement terms.

Silvana described the benefits of ALPE and, in detail, how it works. By 2015, they aim to build an international partnership, and ILDS hopes to publish the results later that year. Read more at https://sites.google.com/site/nildeworld/approfondire-alpe

In theory, technology can now facilitate access to the world’s literature; in practice, this is still only limited. Constraints are placed on access by publishers, and the cost of pay per view is outside the budget of most citizens. Denmark is a country long in the forefront of making material accessible to its citizens, and Henrik Haagensen from the State and University Library, Aarhus, spelt out the various services that bring this about and that have been covered in ILDS over the past few years. Henrik described in detail yet another service which offers scanned articles of Danish popular magazines for €1. It is intended to expand the number of journals in the service and develop a new website that can be marketed to the Danish citizen. The government will end the subsidy for this service in September and the State and University library will take over responsibility, and it is hoped that a new service will be up and running by the end of 2014.

The second day opened with a tour de force from Jim Neal on the need for radical collaboration by which he means acting together rather than in parallel. After running through some interesting concepts and definitions, Jim looked at the context for cooperation – principally:

  • rapidly changing user behaviour and expectations;

  • inappropriate library systems;

  • the need to achieve scale though aggregation;

  • permanent beta (a nice phrase);

  • advanced open architecture; and

  • a new economic context and others.

As a result of this context, libraries are changing rapidly: dealing with mobile and tablet communications, cloud computing, customised management of online content, including massive open online courses and OA material, ebooks, managing data sets, etc. He made a particular point of including the citizen and local community in the library’s users – something evident in other presentations at the conference; this has consequences for how the library interacts with its users requiring systems with much greater reach and ability to enhance the user’s experience. He highlighted a number of challenges – how do we balance digital and physical collection, and how will collection development change in the context of increasing collaboration? How do we transition from a competitive to a collaborative model (when the underlying shift is towards more competition in a neo-liberal environment)? We should campaign for building and preserving the digital library and the repositories that will house the content. All this has profound consequence for library staff and the levels of library cooperation form library systems through researcher collaboration to national and international partnerships. He concluded by giving examples of library resource sharing and asking three questions – “How are new forms of collaboration different from the traditions of library cooperation? How do libraries need to change in order to participate effectively in these new relationships?” and “How is library collaboration evaluated in terms of service improvements, user success and financial cost/benefits?” Phew!

Then, onto the largest document supplier in the world and the largest facilitator - a presentation from two stalwarts representing two key organisations – Katie Birch from Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and Sam Tillett from the British Library. Their talk explained “An improved service for OCLC and British Library users”. The current service is clunky; the request payment for OCLC requests is manual, and other problems require attention. They took us through the steps that led to a much enhanced service for requests to the British Library via OCLC. Fourteen USA libraries were in the pilot, and all libraries will be eligible by September.

Subito is “Germany’s biggest, interdisciplinary document delivery service (DDS)” and “has 42 member libraries in Germany, Austria and Switzerland”. Traut Braun-Gorgon from Subito took us through the new agreement that Subito has made with publishers for the delivery of electronic articles and the lending of e-books as well as an agreement on supplying e-books to China; it is difficult to summarise and best to look at the PowerPoint via the conference website: http://docdel.inist.fr/?Programme

It has been difficult to obtain information about ILL and resource sharing generally from Russia, so it was particularly pleasing to have two colleagues from the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University. Natalia Sokolova described the Association of Regional Library Consortia formed in 2002 comprising 14 library consortia which include several 100 libraries across 57 regions with a single entry point for the library catalogues and cooperative library services. The main current projects are:

  • creating a bibliographic database of articles from Russian journals (MARS);

  • providing electronic document delivery; and

  • creating a distributed electronic library and creating a Union Catalogue of Periodicals of Russia.

The document delivery project has 210 participating libraries that use 6,000 journals and the book resources of the libraries. The library user only receives the paper copy; the average delivery time is 7 hours, but 70 per cent of requests are within 3 hours. ILDS hopes to carry an article in 2015 which delves more deeply into these aspects and other developments in Russia.

OA is already having a significant impact on document supply, but there is very little evidence to back this up. So, it is to be welcomed that evidence has now been produced at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Tina Baich showed how the increasing number of requests (Figure 5) that are in fact availably freely on the web are dealt with.

Figure 5 Number of ILL requests freely available on the web (Tina Baich)

Users were analysed by department, with psychology being the highest at 198 requests; graduate students are the largest group with 807 requests. Numerous other data were analysed and are shown in her PowerPoint, an excellent presentation of which we need more. The scale of the issue suggests that OA material needs more attention.

And over to China – vast but still a long way to go in developing effective ILL systems. Xiaoxia Yao from Beijing University gave an illuminating presentation on the cooperative purchase and utilisation of the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database which provides one million full-text dissertations available as PDF downloads and three million searchable citations. She described the Digital Resource Acquisition Alliance of Chinese Academic libraries. I will pick just one metric to show the phenomenally high usage of ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT) which shows downloads per year – see Figure 6.

Figure 6 The usage of the PQDT database (Xiaoxia Yao, Beijing University)

The benefits of the service are itemised in the PowerPoint presentation and include the sort of thing that you might expect, including cost savings (although these are not quantified). However, with 20 million downloads a year, the cost per download is estimated at USA$0.8 giving a total cost of USA$16 million, but it is not clear whether this is the price to ProQuest or whether it includes in-house costs.

A presentation from Uganda described the role of Makerere University acting as the coordinating institution for the Consortium of Uganda Libraries, which includes the DDS. Resources are very scarce in sub-Saharan Africa, so consortia are particularly important for delivering the maximum cost saving; this is especially so given the large increase in student enrolment at Makerere from 5,000 in 1990 to 44,000 in 2012. Lydia Namugera and Caroline Kobusingye described the partnership with the British Library, Tennessee University and Bergen University which has led to an increase in articles delivered from 107 in 2013 to 395 in 2013.

And lastly, Steve Marvin gave an exhaustive overview of resource sharing in Latin America; this was particularly useful, as it has been very difficult to obtain articles on the subject, and hopefully some of the leads provided by Steve will rectify the situation. Certainly, his presentation showed a wealth of resources across many countries in that diverse continent. A lively conference – as seen in Figure 7 below – was given with a very high quality of presentations.

Figure 7 Delegates at the ILDS conference with INIST buildings in the background – many jumping for joy! (Alexander Plemnek)

And so to Lyon for the main congress. IFLA is large but a lot smaller than American Library Association which normally attracts about 20,000 although this year “only” about 13,000. Nonetheless, an impressive number of 3,500 librarians representing 120 countries were in attendance. There were 227 formal sessions, about 76 of which were open sessions where 354 papers were presented. The authors were requested to upload their papers to the IFLA library repository http://library.ifla.org/. At the time of writing (November 14, 2014), a search for “IFLA Lyons 2014” showed 244 papers (69 per cent) had been deposited which, if correct, is a good proportion. A further 150 sessions were mainly committee meetings. The number presenting is impressive given that low-paid librarians must pay to come – certainly £1500 or more for most – and must prepare a PowerPoint and present their paper in English, and to also write a paper – when many do not have English as their first language – is a big requirement. There were, in addition, 211 posters sessions, a number of which were relevant to the interests of ILDS readers but space does not allow me to describe them here – you can see them at the IFLA 2014 website under “programme” at Session 96 – http://conference.ifla.org/ifla80

There was much of interest for a document supply librarian that went well beyond the section open session. I attended the OCLC session (Session 68) which was led by the new CEO – Skip Prichard; he told an old joke but told it well and talked about moving 9,000 libraries onto the new service WorldShare ILL which integrates Article Exchange with WorldCat and ILLiad. Ted Fons then spoke at length about entities without ever defining what he meant by the term. The third advertised speaker was there, but did not speak, which was puzzling.

As an ex-employee of the British Library I was keen to attend the session on National Library (Session 90). The chair of the Republic of Korea’s Presidential Advisory Committee on libraries gave an inspirational presentation on developments in libraries in Korea. Two hundred public libraries were opened during the first national plan, and in the second, 50 more a year will opened until 2018. In addition, all citizens will be issued with a card eligible for all public libraries. I am writing this just after reading my local paper in Leeds, UK, reporting on another round of cuts to public libraries – cuts in opening hours of up to 40 per cent which will inevitably lead to lower footfall and more closures – what an invidious contrast. And no sign of a regional ticket, let alone a national one! A telling example of the developing world is catching up fast and overtaking the old world.

Roger Josewold from the National Library of Norway described the project to make the 250,000 books published in Norway up to 2,000 freely available on the web – an ambitious goal. In all, 4,500 have been exposed so far, and the rights holder may opt out and 3,500 have done so, mainly for textbooks and reference works. The National Library pays 0.35 kroner per page which, in total, is about €3 million. More information is available at: http://www.nb.no/English/The-Digital-Library/Collaboration-Projects

Andy Stephens from the British Library gave an overview of the complex situation in England (not the UK). It is a sorry and complex tale of lack of vision, under investment and massive cuts. He illustrated the dysfunctional library structure in the UK with three excellent slides. Nonetheless, there have been some dramatic advances in the past couple of years: the Hargreaves review of copyright has led to the UK being the first to introduce new law which prevents publishers imposing contracts that override copyright law and the Finch report has led to the embedding of OA into the world of academic publishing. The contrast with Korea is painful. The session was chaired affably by Winston Roberts, an old colleague from the British Library who I had not seen for over 30 years.

The open session on OA (Session 108) dealt with some worthy research-based work but suggested that the environment at present is too complex to arrive at any clear conclusions. We do need good papers on OA and the session was well scoped, but the papers did not match up. The three questionnaire-based studies were too modest and needed sharper questions – too many were “leading questions” that invited a particular answer. The first from Canada was aimed at those “looking to mainstream OA into collection development”. A survey of senior managers in North American academic libraries showed a high proportion (84 per cent) that have already included OA in their collection development policies or are about to. Not surprisingly, institutional repositories (83 per cent) and journals (72 per cent) were top priorities. This survey was backed up by an investigation of university websites and their attention to OA. A third aspect of the study was to look at one university in detail – the University of Toronto with 48 libraries which generated very varied responses. The authors comment – “While we found some consensus on the import of inclusion of OA in collection policies, approaches varied widely”. Their paper is available at: http://library.ifla.org/839/1/108-correia-en.pdf. The second paper by Miriam Lorenz from the Institute of Information Science at Cologne University tackled the question whether or not OA influenced the Journal of Management in libraries based on research with German, UK and US libraries. The answer is maybe or more formally “All together it seems that the relationship between Open Access and journal management is in fact complicated”. The paper is available at http://library.ifla.org/840/1/108-lorenz-en.pdf. The third paper looked at the significant impact that OA has had in Africa, a continent with over 50 countries, and the attention paid to it in libraries – hardly surprising given the resource-starved situation in most African libraries. A joint paper by Akilah Nosakhere and Mustafa Abdelwahid looked at a survey of academic librarians in African universities that was designed to collect data to understand how the selection and use of OA resources is performed. It distributed to 40 academic librarians and four national library organisations in Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. The response rate of 15 per cent is high for an electronic survey, but there could only have been at most seven libraries responding which makes it difficult to draw general conclusions. The three questions asked did not shed a lot of light on the influence of OA on collection development. However, evidence-based research is always to be welcomed, and hopefully, more ambitious studies can be done that will shed some light on the effect of OA in under resourced libraries. Their paper is available at: http://library.ifla.org/841/1/108-nosakhere-en.pdf

The last paper described a comparative survey on OA collection development between the UK and Italy. The survey investigated OA collection development, management and preservation. The authors discussed issues of quality in OA published articles which highlighted the need for quality control. Their survey was ambitious and received replies from 17 Italian and 13 UK libraries. Perhaps, surprisingly, the most supported OA resource in the UK was Knowledge Unlatched – a community-based OA monograph project followed less surprisingly by BioMedCentral and PLoS which was first and second in Italy. Their conclusion was interesting:

Generally speaking, management of OA collections is somewhat more mature in UK than in Italy. Budget devoted to OA collection development is still a fraction of the total budget of the academic library, but in UK the maximum percentage was 5 per cent, while in Italy the maximum percentage was 1, 25 per cent.

An excellent paper is available at http://library.ifla.org/845/1/108-arte_en.pdf

It has been an interesting year on the copyright front, and two sessions address the issue – The first (Session 119) was concerned with text and data mining (TDM) but two of the four papers dealt very specifically with copyright implications. A presentation from the Helmholtz Institute - (which “[…] brings together 18 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centres. With almost 36,000 employees and an annual budget of approximately €3.8 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation”. See http://www.helmholtz.de/en/about_us/ for more detail – described how it is trying to persuade the EU to introduce changes to the copyright law that would prevent publishers from imposing legally binding contacts that override copyright law – the so-called “contract trumping copyright” issue. He was followed by Susan Reilly from LIBER who gave a spirited presentation that also highlighted the need for change in EU copyright law. She first gave a useful definition of TDM:

TDM is the process of deriving information from machine-read material. It works by copying large quantities of material, extracting the data and recombining it to identify patterns.

She noted that:

[…] publishers such as Elsevier and Nature have launched their own TDM services and policies. The launch of these services is a welcome development, but, if the terms of service are too restrictive, it may be that libraries are signing away the rights of end-users over the long term for access in the short term.

She also criticised the EU’s position in the World Intellectual Property Organization negotiations and noted that the UK now had an exemption for TDM unlike the EU. You can read her paper at http://library.ifla.org/1007/1/119-reilly-en.pdf

Contract law trumping copyright law is a significant issue for ILL in libraries – “print, scan and deliver” is one of the more absurd consequences. Rather, like the man with the red flag walking in front of the first motor cars in case they went fast enough to compete with stagecoaches. A complete session (Session 199) was devoted to the issue (without the red flags). Harald Müeller who writes for ILDS gave a tour de force on the issue. Tomas Lipinski gave an excellent presentation, and you can find his paper at http://library.ifla.org/1052/1/199-lipinski-en.pdf

And so, we move to the last session directly relevant to ILL librarians; Session 212 titled Document Delivery and Resource Sharing which contained four papers. Borrow Direct will be familiar to many readers of ILDS as an efficient and effective resource-sharing consortium of 11 universities for books. The paper presented here discusses a pilot scheme for the collective purchasing of e-books via demand-driven acquisition. Although the pilot was modest in scope as only one STM publisher decided to cooperate, it has been a success so far with the cost of books running at about half what they would otherwise be. See the full paper at: http://library.ifla.org/908/1/212-popescu-en.pdf

Turkey will be hosting the next ILDS conference in 2015, and the key instigator of this is Ertugrul Cimen and colleagues who gave a paper describing in detail a secure electronic document delivery system using purchased e-resources. They underlined the rapid transition to an electronic environment in Turkey:

In Turkey, state universities have spent 20 Million TL (app. 10M USD) for print resources, whereas they have spent 66 million TL (app. 33M USD) for electronic resources in 2013.

The paper is freely available at: http://library.ifla.org/943/1/212-cimen-en.pdf

ILL in South Africa was described that covered inter alia – The results of a snapshot survey sent to South African libraries in February 2014 which indicated how Library clients in South Africa view the importance of just-in-time ILL compared to the needs of clients in an open distance learning library and discussed the characteristics of Worldshare ILL which has been used by some South African libraries since August 2013. The benefits flowing from this system as experienced by the University of South Africa library were highlighted. The paper is freely available at http://library.ifla.org/909/1/212-raubenheimer-en.pdf

All in all, a very useful conference for ILL librarians if the sessions were selected carefully – and the weather was good, which always helps!


First, the upside of IFLA is the vast number of presentations, many of them relevant to ILL librarians – indeed all of them being so at Nancy. Second, there was the chance to network with colleagues from all over the world. The downside is the expense of attending. The cost of both conferences would leave little change out of £ 2000 and for those outside Europe a lot more. The expenses problem is particularly acute for ILL librarians as they tend to be junior staff; they find it difficult to convince management to fund their attendance, especially in these austere times.

Mike McGrath, Leeds, UK


1 The PowerPoint presentations are all available via the satellite website – http://docdel.inist.fr/?Programme


Nitecki, D. (2009), “Borrow direct: a decade of a sustained quality book-lending service”, Interlending and Document Supply, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 192-198.

Corresponding author

Mike McGrath can be contacted at: mailto:mike@mikemcgrath.org.uk

Related articles