DUBLIN, Ohio, Feb. 4, 1994--At the urging of the OCLC Users Council, OCLC will develop a lender reimbursement system to help reduce the administrative costs for libraries that charge or pay other libraries for interlibrary loans.
Users Council delegates unanimously passed the following resolution at their January meeting:
Whereas, resource sharing is growing significantly and many member libraries have expressed interest in OCLC implementing an option for tracking and reconciling lending charges agreed to among participating libraries, Therefore, be it resolved that OCLC move ahead with development and implementation of such a system.
"Estimates of ILL costs range from $20 to over $100," said Martin Dillon, director, library resources management division, OCLC. "Many libraries are now charging fees to other libraries for interlibrary lending, as a way of recovering some of the costs. But when a library has to do the paperwork, charging for ILL actually adds to its overall cost," he said.
The lender reimbursement system will be developed for OCLC's PRISM Interlibrary Loan service, which already tracks borrowing and lending transactions. The system will be optional and used on a request-by-request basis when libraries are arranging a transaction with a library that charges. When the reimbursement system is invoked, the borrowing library is debited and the lender is issued a credit. OCLC will reconcile debits and credits on a monthly basis and send credits to net lenders and bills to net borrowers.
"The purpose of this service is to reduce staff time allocated to processing checks and invoices when libraries charge each other for ILL services," said Dr. Dillon. "It does not imply, either for OCLC or its membership, any suggestion that libraries should charge their users for ILL--ideally, the exchange of money should be minimal, with lending cancelling out borrowing."
The Users Council comprises 60 delegates from networks and service centers whose use of the OCLC system and contribution to the OCLC database qualify them for Users Council membership. Delegates represent the various interests of the General Members of OCLC and ratify amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and Code of Regulations of OCLC. The Users Council also elects six trustees to the OCLC Board of Trustees.
OCLC is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 17,000 libraries in 52 countries and territories.
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