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veritas Harvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1324 March 2005

Desktop Delivery Comes to Widener's ILL

In December, Widener's Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Division added a feature that can speed requested articles to FAS-affiliated patrons faster: electronic desktop delivery. A function supported by the new "Illiad" system—Widener's new online request system for interlibrary loans—electronic desktop delivery is just what it sounds like. A PDF of an article is delivered straight to a borrower's ILL web account, making the file accessible from any computer.

Only Harvard FAS-affiliated borrowers who request articles from other institutions are eligible for this service at this time.

Amy Boucher, head of Widener's ILL, says that, so far, patrons have been happy with the service and found it easy to use. When ILL e-mails a user that a requested article is ready, it includes the delivery method. If delivery will be electronic, the e-mail prompts the user to log into his or her ILL account to access a PDF of the article. There the user can view a list of all articles sent electronically. All he or she needs is Adobe Acrobat Reader. These files are accessible for 30 days, after which they are deleted. If the user accidentally erases the file within that time, ILL can restore it.

Not all files can be delivered electronically at this time. The loaning library must first send the file to ILL electronically for it to be passed on to the HCL user this way. Patrons who prefer to receive paper copies can opt out of this service by alerting ILL.

Since the first week of December, about 300 articles have been delivered electronically. "It's an enhanced service that we're very happy about," says Boucher. "It's something we've wanted to do for years."

 

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