Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, has announced that five prominent UK universities — Imperial College London, UCL, the University of Liverpool, the University of Manchester, and the University of St Andrews — have decided to join the growing RapidILL community in the United Kingdom, giving their library users quick and easy access to materials via the cloud-based Ex Libris RapidILLTM interlibrary loan system. After integrating the system into their library workflows, the universities will benefit from the delivery of requested resources within 24 hours, thus providing patrons with maximum resource accessibility.
Acquired by Ex Libris in 2019, the RapidILL interlibrary loan system was designed by librarians, for librarians, and is compatible with any integrated library system. Participating libraries are organised into groups called pods, which support peer-to-peer and consortial resource sharing. The mission of the collaborative, community-oriented system is to improve service to library users, save staff time, and leverage institutional collections, all without causing cost increases. Libraries can offer a fast, unlimited delivery service with no transaction fees.
The RapidILL system provides a quick turnaround time from the receipt of a request to its delivery. Smart, dynamic requests take into consideration load levelling, library holdings, and time zones. Given the restrictions related to COVID-19 and the impact of budget limitations, resource sharing has become essential to library services, expediting access to collections and exposing materials that the requesting library does not own.
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