03 February 2021 | Story Leonie Bolleurs | Photo Anja Aucamp
Charlie Molepo, Deputy Director: Research and Scholarly Communications in Library and Information Services

The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) division in the University of the Free State Department of Library and Information Services has been recognised by a global library cooperative, OCLC. 

Peter Collins, Director of Resource Sharing at OCLC, says they chose to enrol the UFS Sasol Library in the OCLC’s Express Digital Delivery Programme because of the exceptional work of the staff in the ILL division.

This American non-profit cooperative organisation supports thousands of libraries in making information more accessible and useful to people around the world. 

Users prioritised for receiving service

According to Charlie Maphuntshane Molepo, Deputy Director: Research and Scholarly Communications in Library and Information Services, ILL staff members Jonas Mogopodi and Shaneulia Nel played a big role in ensuring the consistent delivery of articles and other digital resources within 18 hours or less through OCLC’s WorldShare ILL network.

The university’s ILL division, providing a service to academics and postgraduate students, is one of 1 100 institutions worldwide to participate in the Express Digital Delivery Programme. Only four South African universities have been included in this elite service (including the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, the University of KwaZulu Natal, and the UFS).

“This means that our users will be prioritised when they request articles delivered in an electronic format, receiving their requested information within 18 hours as part of the elite institutions. The normal turnaround time for requesting/receiving items from other institutions is three to seven days for electronic resources, says Molepo.

Shift to virtual learning

Collins explains that the Express Digital Delivery Programme was developed to help libraries respond to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, tighter budgets, and the shift to more virtual learning. “It will provide the fastest available solution to issue requested articles to your library's users with your current resource-sharing service,” he says.

The service is also provided at no extra cost to the universities as it is included in the current ILL subscription.

Collins believes that no other resource-sharing service can match the speed, reliability, or breadth of materials available through this programme.

Enrolling the UFS Sasol Library’s ILL system in the OCLC’s Express Digital Delivery programme recognises that the UFS library is delivering a world-class service to its users and other partner libraries. It has always been the library's vision to differentiate itself in the service it delivers to the university community,” says Molepo.

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