Inter-Library Loans: How to Expand Your Collection Without Spending Any $$

by Cathy Willis

At Napa Valley Unified we have had casual Inter-Library Loans (ILL) for the past few years that were handled on a school-to-school basis through emails. We found, however, that it would benefit everyone in our district to be able to exchange books. With the Follett Destiny ILL feature we have found how easy it is to place a request through holds. Until we get everyone used to responding to the little red alert flag we are following up with emails.

The benefits to ILL are that the students have access to a larger collection and they can request books that are higher or lower than the reading levels found at their school. I frequently ask my friend at the high school for YA or adult titles that we do not have at the middle school level. We transfer these books through the district mail service or personal delivery or pick up if you bring a cup of mocha or latte.

This feature is extremely beneficial to our students when working on research projects. If they find a title or subject needed from another school it is just a click away. I recently sent books to the high school for a genetics research project.

As a district we agreed not to request books that are in high demand such as those by Veronica Roth, Jeff Kinney and John Green.

Is your district using ILL? If so, what advantages or disadvantages have you discovered?

Cathy Willis

Cathy Willis

Cathy Willis has been the library technician at Harvest Middle School for the past 11 years. Prior to heading to middle school, she worked for five years at a K-6 school. Cathy was part of the NVUSD Textbook and Library Manager implementation projects and is currently the textbook team leader.

She collaborates with administration and Library Services for collection development for all district middle schools. Additionally, Cathy is the district data queen for Read 180! She has a passion for motivating children to read and loves to do Reader’s Advisory with her middle school students. Her husband is a retired airline pilot. a good thing because she loves to travel!

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