The State of ILL in the State of IL: The Illinois Interlibrary Loan Assessment Project

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2001


Elsevier B.V.


An 11-month survey of ILL activity in Illinois was conducted to study the borrowing and lending of journal articles within the state. OCLC “PILLR” (Prism Inter Library Loan Reports) management data were used to create a statewide database of ILL requests. The data were employed not only to answer questions about our statewide collection, but also to help pose and answer others questions. For example, what does it mean to have a statewide collection? What measurement tools can consortia employ to study, define, and evolve this statewide collection? What roles can resource sharing play in identifying gaps in the state’s collection? Is knowing what we don’t own (and need) as important as knowing what we own? How can libraries take advantage of the networked environment in conjunction with new measurement techniques to best serve the statewide clientele? The results of the study show that over 89,000 articles were borrowed for Illinois library users during the study period, and that most of these articles were located and borrowed within the state of Illinois. The study results also demonstrate the importance of multi-type libraries within a sharing consortium, as each library contributes to the research needs of a diverse population. In addition, 113 frequently requested titles not owned in Illinois were identified as cost-effective to own within the state based on out-of-state borrowing data and the cost/use ratio of the titles.