A Pinhole Approach to Understanding ILL Costs and Trends, or, What a Dutch Master Can Teach Us About Analyzing Resource Sharing Data

MASSIE, Dennis (2016) A Pinhole Approach to Understanding ILL Costs and Trends, or, What a Dutch Master Can Teach Us About Analyzing Resource Sharing Data. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session S06 - Knowledge Management Section. In: Transforming resource sharing in a networked global environment, 10 – 11 August 2016, Washington DC, USA.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1930
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

A Pinhole Approach to Understanding ILL Costs and Trends, or, What a Dutch Master Can Teach Us About Analyzing Resource Sharing Data

In an environment where library administrators emphasize the virtues of evidence-based decision making, the resource sharing community has access to only a small proportion of the transactional data it needs. Most have access to data from only those groups in which they are active, generated by the resource sharing systems they use. No complete global picture is available. Worse, the most often quoted cost data associated with interlibrary loan activity is more than a decade old and does not cover newer models of sharing library materials. This paper reports on recent efforts by OCLC Research, in consultation with library practitioners, to draw fresh conclusions about current resource sharing costs and trends by studying carefully-selected snapshots of data. Those snapshots include: 1) five years’ worth of collection-sharing data contributed by libraries from two large resource sharing consortia; 2) the results of structured interviews conducted with interlending staff from those consortia; and 3) lessons learned from building an ILL Cost Calculator designed to function as a real-time virtual ILL cost study. By extrapolating from these small samples of data and experience, OCLC Research demonstrates how we might come to a better understanding of our “macro” collection-sharing world by going selectively “micro” – much as Vermeer is rumored to have created some of his most famous masterpieces using the camera obscura technique.

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