OCLC ILLiad

By Norton, Melanie J.; Stover, Michelle A. | Journal of the Medical Library Association, July 2003 | Go to article overview

OCLC ILLiad


Norton, Melanie J., Stover, Michelle A., Journal of the Medical Library Association


OCLC ILLiad. Atlas Systems, 5301 Providence Road, Suite 20, Virginia Beach, VA 23464; 757.467.7872; fax, 757.467.7875; www.oclc.org/illiad/; www.atlas-sys.com. Price: $2,000-$5,000 plus optional maintenance contract. Requirements: Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Internet Information Server, Microsoft SQL server, Adobe Acrobat, and Microsoft Word; full system requirements at www.oclc.org/illiad/planning/requirements.shtm.

While libraries advanced with online public access catalogs (OPACs), online indexes, and electronic journals, interlibrary loan (ILL) departments lagged behind in technology until fairly recently. Thankfully, some enterprising software developers at Virginia Tech created ILLiad to help struggling ILL departments survive under increasing workload demands. As the software evolved, the developers branched off and formed their own company, Atlas Systems, which was subsequently purchased by OCLC. Designed to improve the efficiency of the ILL process, ILLiad decreases turnaround time, maintains copyright records, tracks financial records, produces statistics reports, and facilitates electronic delivery.

From the reviewers' experience, ILLiad works almost flawlessly with OCLC in both lending and borrowing, so the focus of this review will be on how well ILLiad works with DOCLINE and Loansome Doc.

With ILLiad, the lending processes for both OCLC and DOCLINE are very similar. ILLiad produces clear, well-organized lending pull slips in alphabetical or call number order, integrating requests downloaded from both OCLC and DOCLINE. Importing of lending requests from DOCLINE to ILLiad is easy when using Internet Explorer. However, imports are problematic with some versions of Netscape, and requests may be lost. Billing, invoicing, and tracking of DOCLINE lending requests is very easy with ILLiad, which simplifies record keeping significantly. However, ILLiad lacks a mechanism to automatically update DOCLINE requests, which means requests must be updated in both ILLiad and DOCLINE. Finally, Loansome Doc requests must be imported into the ILLiad borrowing module, which may cause workflow problems if the majority of requests are filled inhouse.

Borrowing via DOCLINE is generally problem-free but uploading requests from ILLiad into DOCLINE is not as seamless as it is with OCLC. Several fields, such as referral reason and need-by date, are not transferred and must be manually entered in DOCLINE for each request. Other than these hindrances, using ILLiad has many benefits. For example, if the MEDLINE UI is available, it can easily be uploaded from ILLiad to DOCLINE to locate the correct citation. Also, request numbers and the LIBIDs of potential lending libraries are imported directly into the ILLiad record. When items are received electronically, ILL staff can use ILLiad to email documents or post them to a Web server for patron download. Articles received in paper format or held in local collections can also be scanned for electronic delivery using the ILLiad patron interface.

ILLiad's copyright maintenance is a great improvement over manual record keeping. However, it is important to remember that titles need to be uniform throughout, because spelling errors, punctuation changes, and differences in capitalization confuse ILLiad, which considers each entry as a separate journal title. For the most part, this is not a problem with OCLC because ILLiad imports the cataloged title directly from OCLC, making the records consistent. …

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