I'm going to make a small confession. I don't know much about interlending. In fact, prior to starting my new job four months ago, I had never really had much to do with inter library loans or document supply at all. So I've been more than a little apprehensive about this conference and the fact that I would eventually have to write up a piece for it.
For a complete novice like myself the choice of the Keynote speaker, the accepted UK authority on copyright in the UK, Professor Charles Oppenheim, seemed a bit left field. But actually, given a moment to think about the bigger picture, and in the context of the new legislation and licensing, there was no better person to open a conference looking at "Back to Basics" in Inter lending. Everything we do as ILL and DS providers is governed by copyright, publisher contracts and licenses and given the imminent overhaul of these areas it was only right that we entered into the day having covered the basics of the future environment we'll be operating in.
Charles was followed by Kate Ebdon and Samantha Tillett from the British Library who were here to talk about the changes afoot at The British Library. I tweeted much of this session so you can find the Storify here: http://sfy.co/t9jt
Of most interest (even though the connection was a little slow) was the demonstration of the British Library Document Supply System, launched recently and not something my university is currently using. I was interested to hear about it's potential to devolve admin direct to users although discussion during lunch still raised questions about whether it would actually result in more work and how it would integrate with LMS's.
After lunch (of which the mini cakes were a highlight) we moved onto the afternoon breakout sessions.
I had chosen to attend Carol Giles' session on the University of Exeter ILL service. I think many people attending were expecting something slightly more revolutionary as while the online system they had created in house was impressive I don't think it was the all singing, all dancing, fully integrated payment, request, renewal and monitoring system that many people were hoping to see. Certainly I couldn't help but draw parallels to our own Google form that we introduced last year. What it did highlight is how paper based and admin intensive much ILL and DS work is and how often the barriers to creating a seamless service exist not with just external services, such as the BL, but also in house with the availability (or lack of) internal support from IT.
Next up was James Shaw from Bodleian Libraries talking about their Scan and Deliver service. This isn't a ILL service but a way of making items (within fair use copyright policy) from their remote store available to their users within 24 hrs. I'm going to blog about this more as the system seems impressive and has many applications to ILL and DS. However I think the thing that struck me most was it's integration into their current LMS and the seamless online service offered to the users, something we are familiar with in retail options such as Amazon but which we so often fail to see in library online services.
The day was brought to a close with an update from Elisabeth Robinson from OCLC talking about the development of Bookmark Your Library and Worldshare before the FIL committee took questions from the floor. Surprise, surprise many of these focused around the new CLA license which will be coming into force this summer and which is still something of an unknown.
Finally, before I give myself ten minutes to get ready for the conference dinner, here are today's tweets from Storify: