ILL / Document Delivery
Interlibrary Loan and document delivery are ways of supplementing the library's collection through the temporary use of materials from other libraries or repositories. These services are indispensable for meeting the needs of patrons for materials that are not available in the library's collections. Historically, public libraries in Egypt have not made widespread use of document delivery services nor have they participated in Interlibrary Loan systems. Because these have become such an important adjunct to collection services in libraries in other parts of the world, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is attempting to establish such services for the benefit of its patrons and to enhance Egyptian research and scholarship.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a transaction in which library material, or a copy thereof, is loaned by one library to another upon request; usually at the request of a library patron. ILL is a service provided between libraries and not between libraries and their patrons. ILL services are reciprocal, that is, each participating library in an Interlibrary Loan agreement offers to share its resources with each of the other participants.
A loan or a copy of any item may be requested from another library in accordance with their ILL lending policy. According to such a policy the lending library decides in which cases a particular item can be provided. Most libraries do not usually lend rare or valuable materials, bulky or fragile items, new releases, or audio-visual materials.
Interlibrary Loan, is a good resource for complementing the collection development policy of a library. This service is meant to supplement, not replace, the library's collection and to increase the opportunities of access for library patrons. Through ILL services, patrons receive access to the item they desire directly into their hands, in the most expeditious and cost effective manner.
Most libraries providing ILL services loan print resources that are not part of the library's reference materials or rare book collections. Articles from scholarly journals, popular magazines, newspaper, and other periodicals are copied and sent to the requesting libraries.
Document delivery (DD) services are similar in nature to Interlibrary Loan, but are not reciprocal and typically involve the delivery only of copies of articles and selections from books, not whole books or journals. Because of the lack of reciprocity, DD is a fee-based service to the library: whether or not the library chooses to pass on those fees to it's patrons is at the discretion of the library. Like ILL , document delivery is an effective way of supplementing the library's local collections.