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Patron-Initiated ILLs

Patron-Initiated Interlibrary Loan Set-up & Customised Request Forms

Approximately 60% of BC Public Libraries, and some Post-Secondary Libraries, already offer their patrons the ability to search and submit requests through Patron-Initiated InterLibrary Loans within Illume. Set-up and optimise your patron-initiated requesting with additional features. Check-out our common Questions & Answers below or contact us for assistance!


PI-ILL Set-up Steps:

A new easy-to-use interface has been implemented in V6 to customise your Guest/Patron and Staff forms. New set-up videos included below and please contact us for assistance setting up patron-initiated requesting for your library.

Step 1 (required): Update your generic "guest" and "patron" user account settings to allow patron requesting. You can update your accounts in advance as this does not activate patron requesting. [no sound] Watch Video [3m ; MP4]
Step 2 (recommended): Update your Patron Loan & Copy Forms to customise and simplify your guest patron loan & copy request forms. Please contact us if you'd like assistance updating your Staff or Patron forms. [no sound] Watch Video [8m50s ; MP4]
Step 3 (required): Configure Patron settings in Participant Record including your Privacy Disclaimer Notice and activate the "Request this Item" guest patron requesting button. [no sound] Coming soon! Contact us for assistance.
Step 4 (optional): Update your Patron Tracking messages and Patron Email Notices. [no sound] Coming soon! Contact us for assistance.
Step 5 (optional): Set ILL Request Limits on unauthenticated guest patrons. Request limits can be set by "number active", "number per week", or "number per month". [includes sound ; autoplay]

Watch Tutorial [3m42s ; SWF]
**Guest ILL Request Limits currently aren't working. Check the V6 Migration Known Bugs and Issues page for more info/updates.**

Additional Features to Optimise your Patron Requesting:

  • Borrowing Policy: As a Borrower - hide the "Request this Item" button on material formats (eg. DVDs) that your library's ILL Policy doesn't allow your patrons to borrow.
  • Lending Policy [PDF 223KB]: As a Lender - automatically deflect requests for material formats your library's ILL policy doesn't lend.
  • Live Shelf Status: With up to 40% of all submitted requests rejected by at least one Lender due to unavailable status (eg. Reference or Checked Out); Libraries can combine live availability checking with Patron Requesting to request and receive items faster.
  • Patron Request Tracking: Customise your "Guest ILL Tracking" messages so your patrons can check the status of their ILL requests directly in Illume. Also allows patrons to receive Copy requests directly in Illume via Desktop Delivery.
  • Patron Email Notices: Set-up automatic patron email notifications (eg. when a request is Approved) to save staff communication time. Patron Notices are sent on both patron & staff created requests, to any email address added into Patron's Contact 1 or Patron's Contact 2, and can be set-up independently from PI-ILLs. Video tutorial coming soon.
  • Guest Request Limits: Set guest requesting limits on unauthenticated guest patrons. Video tutorial also available below and in the FAQ.
  • Holiday or Temporary Closures: Closing your library for holidays or another reason such as renovations? Set-up a holiday list to allow your library to be skipped as a lender. Includes turning off patron-initiated ILL requests during closures.
  • SIP2/NCIP CommunicationsContact us for information on activating SIP2/NCIP to connect Illume (SHAREit V6) to your ILS patron data. Currently working on launching a pilot project.
  • Patron Privacy – All data is stored on Canadian servers and submitted via encrypted web forms. Don't forget to consult with your privacy department before activating PI-ILLs and collecting personal data!
  • Search Targets Configuration - Some libraries expand the available search targets to include other library catalogues, such as SFU, UBC & UVic, for their patrons. This is a local library decision as these ISO Partner libraries may charge for loans. Contact us for assistance customising your search targets/resources for patrons.

Questions & Answers about Patron-Initated Interlibrary Loans:

Q: What is Patron-Initiated InterLibrary Loan (Mediated Requesting) in Illume?
A: Patron requesting can be activated in Illume to offer your guest patrons the ability to search and submit their own requests. These requests are then mediated (approved) by InterLibrary Loan Staff via the Borrower Awaiting Approval section in Illume before they are forwarded on to Lenders.

Q: What is Live Shelf Status?
A: Live shelf status is a check of the circulation Availability (eg. In Library, On Hold, Checked Out) and location availability (eg. Reference Shelf Location or Branch Location) of an item at the time a Request is submitted to a Lender. Illume connects directly to the Lender library's Z39.50 server for information about the Holdings (Location & Status) of that item; including an up-to-date check of their record details to confirm that the library still owns that exact item. Requests for unavailable items automatically skip the Lenders that can’t fill the request at that time.

Q: What is Direct Patron Requesting (Unmediated Requesting) in Illume?
A: Customizable request forms for Patrons/Guests, the new Borrowing Policy, NCIP/SIP2 and Live Shelf Status Checks allow libraries to implement Direct Patron Requesting - where the patron’s request is forwarded via Automatic Approval (unmediated) straight on to Lenders without first being checked by ILL Staff in Awaiting Approval. Exceptions can be added, such as requests with Notes can always be sent to Awaiting Approval for mediation by ILL Staff.

Q: Can Guest Patron request limits be set in Illume?
A: Yes, using Auto-Graphics feature of Patron Categories, it is now possible to set ILL Request Limits on unauthenticated guest patrons. More information in our FAQ: Can I set ILL request limits on my guest patrons?

Q: What is NCIP or SIP/SIP2 in Illume?
A: NCIP or SIP/SIP2 faciliates communication between the Illume (SHAREit) software and your ILS patron data. Implementing NCIP should allow Illume to implement a variety of features including request limits, authentication and deflection of requests based on fines or account details. Unmediated Direct Patron Requesting (DPR) isn't recommended until NCIP is implemented for patron verification.

Q: Can I customize my Patron request forms to simplify them for easy requesting?
A: Since the software update on December 16th, 2015, all forms including Staff and Patron/Guest forms can be customized separately for each user group. The new V6 software (launched July 15th, 2019) also offers an improved easy to use customisation interface.

Q: What do I have to do to make my PI-ILLs privacy compliant within British Columbia?
A: To collect complete identifier information (e.g. First & Last Names ; Barcodes ; Emails/Telephone Numbers) within an online Interlibrary Loan form, British Columbia requires that you include a Privacy Disclaimer Notice on your forms informing patrons that if they submit requests they are consenting to their Name and patron details being collected for ILL purposes.

  • You must include in your privacy disclaimer notice: (a) The purpose for collecting the personal information (eg. Interlibrary Loan), (b) the legal authority for collecting it (ie. the Library Act and FOIPPA), and a person that can be contacted at your Library/Institution for more information including the person’s Title, business address and phone number.
  • Unfortunately the character size (currently 300 characters but we’ve requested an increase) of the notice fields doesn’t allow for most contact information so we recommend providing a link/URL to a privacy page/section on your website that provides the contact information of your FOI/Privacy Officer and your privacy policy or just a contact email/telephone number.
  • British Columbia also requires that the data is stored on our Canadian servers and the web forms are HTTPS encrypted.
  • Example Privacy Notice (ILLs within BC only):
    Personal info is collected for Interlibrary Loan use only [by authority of the Library Act and Sec. 26 Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act] and may be shared with another library in BC. Questions? Contact the FOI/Privacy Officer: [add your URL here]

Q: Why use Patron-Initiated ILL or Direct Patron Requesting?
A: Allowing the patron to place requests themselves within Illume means less work for library staff and faster loans for patrons. Direct Patron Requesting combined with the new Borrowing policy feature and live shelf status checks to streamline the process even further – directly sending requests from patrons on to Lenders with the item available.