Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2009


The charge of the RUSA Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS) International Interlibrary Loan Committee is to evaluate trends in international interlibrary loan (ILL) and resource sharing, to develop materials and resources for international ILL practitioners, and to promote international ILL resource sharing efforts. In 2006, the committee decided to survey U.S. libraries regarding their international ILL activities as a way to gather information on the current environment and identify strategies for improving international ILL. The survey was deployed in the spring of 2007. In the fall of 2008, the committee members drafted an executive summary, which was approved by the RUSA STARS Executive Committee and posted to the STARS website ( divs/rusa/sections/stars/section/internationill/ILLReport ExecSummary.pdf). Specifically, the survey sought to determine what types of U.S. libraries participate in international ILL services as borrowers and lenders, to what extent libraries work internationally, and what tools and services survey participants use to go global. The results of the survey will help guide the committee in developing tools to resolve issues that may hinder international resource sharing and uncover opportunities to promote and expand both the use of and the participation in global ILL services. This article intends to reflect on changes in the resource-sharing environment since 1998, provide an overview of current practice, and lay the foundation for future International Interlibrary Loan Committee efforts.


Originally Published with Reference & User Services Quarterly, Fall 2009, volume 49, issue 1