Video and Interlibrary Loan Survey

Submitted by Shirley R. Thomas, Resource and Delivery Services at VCU Libraries



Last fall, VCU Libraries merged some Resource Delivery Services (RDS) functions with its Circulation and Information Services (CIS) at Cabell Library. This merger centralized the initial borrowing processing (searching, ordering and renewing) at the Tompkins-McCaw Library. The new centralized borrowing team noted that requests for videos submitted to RALC institutions were sometimes filled by the ILL departments from the Film/Cooperative Collections at lending RALC institutions and were sometimes cancelled. Institutions that cancelled VCU requests asked that they be resubmitted through VCU Media Resource Services.


The following email message was sent on April 23, 2003 to the RALC List to streamline video borrowing request submission procedures at VCU Libraries.

We are interested in identifying RALC libraries that will accept interlibrary loan requests for videos.

You may send your responses directly to me and I will summarize for the list. If you are not the person who can respond, please share this message with the staff that may be able to answer.


Eight RALC institutions responded to the email message. Some respondents asked for further clarification and some indicated concerns that the above message was suggesting a change in RALC Co-Op video booking and delivery services. Below is a summary of the responses.


  • 3 - Forward requests for videos to Media for processing.
  • 3 - Accept ILL requests for videos. They will not lend if on reserve, anticipate heavy local use or heavy RALC traffic.
  • 2 - Cancel ILL requests for videos. Requests must be submitted through the Media Co-op.


At least one institution preferred receiving video requests through OCLC because it increases their OCLC lending statistics. VIVA funding for resource sharing is based on the OCLC interlibrary loan lending statistics. Thus, higher OCLC lending statistics means more funding.

Video collections vary greatly in size and how they are managed. Staff managing small collections have dual roles within their organizations and seem to be able to manage processing ILL requests from RALC institutions. Not all RALC institutions have video collections other than the Media Co-op collections.