The Lending Division handles over three‐quarters of all interlibrary loan requests from British libraries. Demand was 4% higher than in 1976/77 — a lower growth rate than hitherto. Overseas demand continued to grow faster (9% more requests than 7976/77) than British demand (3% more). The back‐up system, which was rationalised during the year, dealt with nearly as many requests (5%) as the locations service (5.5%), which showed an improved performance. The pilot transport schemes in London and the North West were completed, and plans were made for the extension of rail/road services over the whole country. Over £1,800,000 was spent on acquisitions, and the number of current serials acquired rose to 49,300. The Gift and Exchange Section became able to receive large quantities of material direct, rather than being notified on cards. Work started on a new building with 40 miles of shelving, due for completion in 1979. Increased funds were spent on conservation, for which a long‐term programme is being prepared. Other aspects covered are translating services, MEDLARS, courses and seminars, research and computer applications, publications, and publicity and visitors.
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