©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Interlibrary Loan

52 Weeks – Challenge #4 - Interlibrary Loan

This week’s challenge: Learn about your local public library’s inter-library loan (ILL) policy. Pick a genealogy-related book that you want to read that is not in your library’s collection. Ask the librarian how to request the book from another library. Find the different library systems from which you can request books through your own library, as this can dramatically increase the number of genealogy books to which you have access. If you have a genealogy blog, write about your experience with requesting items through your library’s ILL service.

This was a great challenge for me because I’ve been putting off – not an uncommon situation – ordering the article, regarding the law in Alsace-Lorraine, I found earlier in the month. I know it isn’t a “book” but I’m sure it still fits the bill for this exercise. I’m looking for:

The Legal System of Alsace-Lorraine
• M. Leon Julliot de la Morandiere
Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law, Third Series, Vol. 9, No. 1 (1927), pp. 100-110 (article consists of 11 pages)
• Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law
I had hoped to find it on-line but, alas, only one page is available there. If I want the whole article I’ll need to either pay the $34 they’re asking for at http://www.jstor.org/stable/752907 or get it by inter-library loan. Hmmm, I think that’s a no-brainer!

Before heading to my local library, Poplar Creek in Streamwood, IL, I checked out World Cat online at www.worldcat.org/ and got a listing of the libraries where the article might be found. I know I didn’t have to do that but it does save the librarians a little time and effort and I like to help where I can.

At the library, I was told the normal interlibrary loan librarian is on vacation but her stand-in did a fine job. She was very excited that I’d already checked World Cat and set right to placing the order. Though, I think she was unsure when answering my question about what library systems the library used. Her answer had to do with locality; she stated they check Illinois first, move out to surrounding States and finally try anywhere in the US, if necessary.

All in all, it was a pleasant visit and, I hope, a fruitful, one. Time will tell but I have great faith I’ll be reading that article in the next few weeks.


  1. Than you for sharing how interlibrary loan works in your neck of the woods. I hope you get your article!

  2. Hi Becky, Your ILL article is only the second one I read, I didn't want to be influenced by what I wrote by getting ideas from somebody else. We both mentioned Worldcat, so I guess we think alike. Very nice article. Thank you.