I was recently the subject of the Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Resource Sharing‘s “Profiles in Resource Sharing” column. Ryan Litsey, the journal’s Associate Editor, sent me a list of questions. Below are my answers for those who (like me!) don’t have subscription access.
Tell us who you are and who you work for.
Tina Baich. I am the Head of Resource Sharing & Delivery Services and Bibliographic & Metadata Services at IUPUI University Library.
How long have you been in resource sharing?
I began my resource sharing career as a Graduate Assistant in the Interlibrary Services department at IUPUI University Library (UL) in the fall of 2005. When I graduated from library school, UL was hiring a visiting librarian to supervise interlibrary loan, and I got the job. I’ve been a librarian at UL for nearly 10 years now. Though my responsibilities have increased over the years, I continue to be responsible for interlibrary loan and related resource sharing services.
What is it about resource sharing you like the most?
I’ve always been a mystery lover, and resource sharing immediately appealed to that part of me. From the time I was a graduate assistant processing requests, I’ve always loved the puzzle that difficult requests present. Interlibrary loan requires detective skills and nothing beats solving the mystery.
As my responsibilities have taken me away from day to day processing, I’ve come to love the comradery of the resource sharing community and the opportunities to share knowledge and help others improve their resource sharing abilities (and detective skills).
What was your most proud moment in resource sharing?
Honestly, I am proud and humbled to have been selected by my peers to receive the 2016 Virginia Boucher-OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award. It is hugely gratifying to know that my colleagues recognize my devotion to resource sharing and the efforts I have made to have an impact on the community. This honor narrowly surpasses the pride I felt in being elected Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of ALA RUSA STARS and entrusted with leading the national organization that represents the resource sharing community.
What was the most difficult item you have gotten for a patron?
The international resource sharing community and their willingness to share with us constantly amaze me. I’ve been able to locate and obtain items from around the world for our users by going outside our normal OCLC channels. One item that sticks out in my mind is a book we borrowed from a university in Estonia back in 2008. It was hard to track down, and it brought a huge feeling of success when the library actually sent it!
What is unique about your resource sharing operation?
I don’t know if it is really unique, but my library places enormous value on resource sharing services and recognizes the important role they play in providing our users with access to the information they need. This gives me the support I need try new and innovative services and the freedom to make changes to improve our existing services.
What piece of advice would you give to a new ILL librarian?
Get connected. Successful resource sharing is built on relationships. Join e-mail discussion lists. Attend conferences. Look for any and every opportunity to connect with the resource sharing community. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the collaboration, input, and friendship of my resource sharing colleagues.