Thursday, January 28, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: ILL (no, I'm not sick)

ILL up there stands, of course, for Inter-Library Loan. Amy Coffin, in her blog We Tree challenges us this week, the fourth week of the year-long endeavor with which I have not quite kept up, to check out our public library's Inter-Library Loan system. I use the one at my University the most, these days, as I'm working on my big project, and I have other papers to do as well.

But I do have a story about Inter-Library Loan this week. For my project, my directing professor wants me to read a book called Men of Cajamarca by James Lockhart. The university library does have a copy, but one of my professor's graduate students has it right now and it's not due back until the middle of the month. I'm next in line with a hold on it, but I would like to read it sooner, because then there is another book I need to read after that one. So I decided to see if the Jacksonville Public Library could get it for me on ILL. All these libraries are plugged into the ILL system called ILLiad, but I'm afraid this time it put me on an odyssey (okay, enough with the classical references . . .)

I got logged on and entered my information, including my Jacksonville library card number. I hit "submit." The form came back up, all filled in except for the library card information, and the form asked me in friendly red letters to enter my library card number. "I did, you ape," I responded -- I talk to my computer all the time, and not always nicely. So I entered it again, hit "submit," and the same thing happened. Now, my library card is current, so that was not the problem.

Today I went to the Jacksonville library, the main library downtown, to do some research in the microfilmed East Florida Papers. While I was there, I tried to find out if they could manually order the book for me on ILL. First off, the fellow at the information desk did not have the right information, and he sent me pursuing the undomesticated waterfowl. That was no fun, as I had already walked my limit on my arthritic hip looking for lunch. Then I went to the circulation desk, and got the phone number for the library's ILL office.

Haven't called them yet; didn't want to have to go outside to use my cell phone right then, as I wanted to get started on my research. I may call them tomorrow. Or, at this rate, I just may wait until the 15th, when the book is due back at the university library.

This has been an irritation, but it is not about to put me off ILL. I have reaped great benefit from this service, and it's one of the best services a library can offer.

I just need to try to find out why ILLiad does not like my Jacksonville library card!


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

In order to get my MLIS degree, I had two write two big papers on subjects loosely related to the value of libraries. I had requested two books via ILL for this task. The process was a nightmare. After weeks, I got am email saying that my request was cancelled with no reason given. Luckily, the books weren't essential to my papers.

I just thought it was funny, since I was writing about the value of libraries--and mine failed me when I needed it most. :)

Karen Packard Rhodes said...
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第二回合 said...
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Amanda (the librarian) said...

Karen, is it possible you got a new library card number since the time you registered with ILLiad? According to JPL's ILL FAQ, "If you lose or replace your library card, you must contact Interlibrary Loan for a new ILLiad account." I know with my university's ILLiad system, I have an ID# within ILLiad (which fortunately I don't need to remember or use), but we log on with our campus-wide single sign-on system. Maybe you were still able to log into the JPL ILLiad system with your current library card number, but an old library card nymber is the ID# within ILLiad and needs to be changed?

Just guessing here - but I am really interested to hear if you are able to resolve this.

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

As a follow-up comment, I did finally get into the ILLiad system with my Jacksonville library card, and was able to place the order.

Then as soon as I did that, the copy of the book at UNF became available. Of course!