In addition to using the National Library of Medicine (NLM) DOCLINE system, libraries can soon send interlibrary loan (ILL) requests to NLM via Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), saving libraries already using OCLC time and effort by integrating these requests into their existing workflows. The change, beginning January 2018, gives libraries wanting to borrow materials from NLM three possible avenues for placing requests: DOCLINE, OCLC, and the NLM ILL Request Portal. DOCLINE, which has served medical libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine since 1985, efficiently routed more than one million ILL requests in Fiscal Year 2017. As a national library, NLM will continue to serve as a library of last resort for ILL, meaning that libraries should first try to fill requests from local or regional libraries before submitting them to NLM.
In addition, NLM will raise the fee for filling an interlibrary loan request from $9.00 to $12.00. The long overdue price increase will help keep the NLM ILL service a national leader and ensure that NLM can continue to deliver efficient service and maintain a fast turnaround time to complete incoming requests.
Will NLM lending in OCLC have any effect on DOCLINE?
No. NLM does not anticipate any impact on DOCLINE and will continue to develop and maintain the system.
If my library belongs to OCLC and DOCLINE, must I use one or the other?
Libraries can choose the borrowing method that best suits their ILL processes, taking into consideration the different billing methods associated with each system, as well as different statistical reporting options.
Will NLM still offer its portal?
Yes. If libraries and other institutions are unable to submit requests through DOCLINE or OCLC, NLM’s preferred methods for ILL, the portal will still be available for submitting and checking on the status of interlibrary loan requests.
Why did the price of an ILL increase?
The price increase was necessary due to the increases in the costs of delivering the service. The fee had not increased in over two decades.
What methods exist for requesting an ILL from NLM?
After January 1, 2018, there will be three possible avenues for placing ILL requests: DOCLINE, OCLC, and the NLM ILL Request Portal. NLM encourages requesting institutions to utilize either DOCLINE or OCLC before the NLM ILL Request Portal.
What is the impact to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s regarding NLM’s decision to use OCLC?
NLM does not anticipate any impact on the quality and timeliness of services it provides to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. DOCLINE continues to be the recommended requesting mechanism for libraries with health-science missions that are part of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, however NLM will also accept requests submitted via OCLC. Libraries can choose the borrowing method that best suits their ILL processes, taking into consideration the different billing methods associated with each system, as well as different statistical reporting options.
Is the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s Resource Sharing Plan changed/changing due to NLM’s decision to use OCLC?
The Network Resource Sharing Plan will not change due to NLM’s decision to use OCLC.