Patron-to-Patron Lending

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van Dyk, Gerrit
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When a user can't find an item in our catalog they go to ILL. ILL then contacts various libraries to see if they would lend the item in question. What if ILL was able to also contact local users who have volunteered their personal library "holdings" as potential lenders? What I am terming Patron-to-Patron Lending is an idea I would like to share with other librarians, especially those who may have considered it in the past. I believe that this kind of model can actually work in a 21st Century library. The 2009 Access Services Conference seems like an ideal conference to explore this concept because he conference is not just isolated to ILL people but all personnel—including library administrators—in charge of finding what the patron needs. With the advent of social networking sites like Bookmooch, Paperback Swap, and Goodreads, users are showing us that they are okay with exchanging their own books. Why not facilitate this exchange in libraries? Our ILL infrastructure is already in place. My purpose would be to propose the idea and illustrate what it might look like on the surface, what the potential benefits and challenges would be, short-term and long-term, and open up time for questions and comments. It is likely that there are others who have thought of a model similar to this (surely, I am not the first to think of this) and it would offer time for more extensive discussion of these issues.
Georgia Institute of Technology Library and Information Center; Georgia State University Library; Georgia Gwinnett College Library
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