Interlibrary Loans resuming February 2021

Published on February 11, 2021

Western Libraries will resume its Interlibrary Loans (ILL)/RACER service for print loans starting Tuesday, February 16. This is part of a gradual re-opening strategy for library services across the university, as we anticipate the end of the provincial stay-at-home order.

“It’s an exciting announcement,” explains Crystal Mills, user services manager, “but we want to temper that with the new reality of slower turnarounds and potentially cancelled requests, due to ongoing COVID-19 implications.”

Currently, only four participating schools are expected to resume ILL services among Ontario universities, including Western.

What does this mean for you?

  • Print ILL service will be most useful for those engaged in long-term research, rather than an immediate need for materials.
  • Print requests may be unfilled or cancelled due to print collections access that is curbed due to library location closures and copyright law that requires physical copies remain unavailable as long as lending partners subscribe to HathiTrust emergency temporary access service.
  • Turnaround times will be longer due to delays with couriers/Canada Post, materials quarantine requirements, and limited staff on-site across university partners to manage mail routes and lending.

“We know this isn’t an ideal circumstance when seeking materials for research and teaching,” Crystal adds. “The patience we’ve seen from faculty, students, and staff has been heartening and we’re grateful for their understanding as we work through this ‘new normal’.”

For the latest on how health and government guidelines affect Western Libraries services and access, visit the COVID-19 updates page.