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Interlibrary Loan Service for Alumni

Published by Dipa Barua

Q. I am an SFU alumnus, and hold an SFU identification card (which, as you know, serves as a library card). Nevertheless, I find that I am unable to make an interlibrary loan request, even when I offer to pay for the cost of processing it. I have been told that this is SFU library policy. This seems to me to be a rather mean-spirited way of doing things. Therefore, I respectfully ask that the library policy on this matter be changed so that people who hold an SFU card, of any type, are permitted to make an interlibrary loan request, upon payment of a fee if necessary.

A. The question of ILL privileges for alumni comes up from time to time. Per the policy page  the current situation is that alumni are not eligible for interlibrary loan service. There are several rationales for this including cost, staff workload, and administrative complexity. Thanks for your kind offer to pay for the loans -- that does address one of the issues -- but the library has decided that serving the needs of our current students and researchers needs to be the main priority for the limited time of the staff in the ILL unit. Also, most public libraries provide interlibrary loan service for their patrons at cost. Here is the information page from Burnaby Public Library on their ILL service: http://www.bpl.bc.ca/borrowing/interlibrary-loans For these reasons SFU Library does not provide ILL services to alumni.

However, this doesn't mean the policy can't change. I'm new in my position and bring fresh eyes to a decision from several years ago. I'm happy to go and ask the University Librarian whether this policy could be reviewed.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to discuss this further.

Gordon Coleman
Assistant Head (Acting), Access Services
Document Delivery Services & Media Resource Centre


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