The Interlibrary Loan Division (ILL) at Widener Library is the No. 1 lender in the New England area according to statistics recently published by the New England Library Network (NELINET). ILL received, processed, and shipped 18,075 loans or copies through the national Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) in the year 2002.
ILL fills both book and photocopy requests, accepting about 150 requests a day, filling roughly half. Within the division, three staff members – “lenders” – process and send items, while three “borrowers” request materials from other libraries for Harvard patrons. The division sends materials across the country, to places as far away as the University of California, and as close as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Nick Wharton, head of the Interlibrary Loan Division from 1999 to 2003, said, “As a public service point, we strive to provide the fastest turnaround and most efficient service possible. Over the last five years ILL loans have increased by almost 10,000. Everyone in the division deserves credit for this increase and has done an outstanding job.”
This spring, Wharton moved from his position in ILL and became the associate head of access services, head of Circulation Division in Widener. Amy Boucher, previously head of Periodicals Division, took over for Wharton. She noted that the lending rank creates big shoes to fill, but that she is looking forward to continuing the excellent services provided by the division.
ILL coordinates loans for Tozzer and the Fine Arts Library, in addition to Widener. Other Harvard libraries participate in OCLC separately, and others do not use OCLC for lending.
The top 20 New England OCLC lenders in 2002 were:
- 1. Widener Library, Harvard University – 18,075 loans
- 2. University of Massachusetts-Amherst – 17,946 loans
- 3. University of Connecticut – 17,579 loans
- 4. Boston College – 16,216 loans
- 5. University of New Hampshire – 13,562 loans
- 6. Williams College – 11,281 loans
- 7. Bates College – 11,267 loans
- 8. Yale University – 10,367 loans
- 9. Northeastern University – 9,204 loans
- 10. Brown University – 9,147 loans
- 11. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 9,100 loans
- 12. Tufts University – 8,143 loans
- 13. University of Southern Maine-Portland – 8,106 loans
- 14. Middlebury College – 8,042 loans
- 15. University of Maine-Orono – 7,996 loans
- 16. Wellesley College – 7,966 loans
- 17. Mount Holyoke College – 7,738 loans
- 18. Smith College – 7,617 loans
- 19. Wesleyan University – 7,490 loans
- 20. Boston University – 7,003 loans