The CTW Library Consortium (Connecticut College, Trinity College, Wesleyan University) recently joined RapidILL, an interlibrary loan network of libraries committed to sharing resources and fulfilling requests more quickly.
RapidILL was founded in the late 1990s by Colorado State University Libraries and now includes libraries from around the world. The majority of members are in the United States and Canada, but others are in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
At Trinity, Library interlibrary loan specialist Marcelino Velez has worked on learning the new system and getting us started in the program. The integration process began in late Fall 2018 and was completed in January 2019. The first requests trickled in before spring semester began but the libraries are now at full speed, handling both lending and borrowing requests for articles and book chapters on a daily basis. The libraries plan to add full book requests to the Rapid setup this coming summer.
The primary benefits of RapidILL are being part of a very large and diverse sharing network whose members are committed to fulfilling lending requests within 24 hours. This quicker turnaround is possible because requests are sent to libraries that own the item electronically first. This means many requests are fulfilled automatically without staff intervention. So despite a higher volume of requests coming into the CTW libraries, the staff time needed to handle these requests should stay the same.
Best of all, it’s a win-win situation for faculty and students. Most of your requests for articles and book chapters should arrive faster and there’s nothing new to learn in terms of placing requests from non-CTW libraries. Rapid is completely integrated with our existing interlibrary loan software (ILLiad), and everything is handled completely behind the scenes. There is nothing new you need to do, but you should see an improvement in time to delivery of the requested material.