Open access isn’t the end of resource sharing

Originally published on the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship blog, April 19, 2016, http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/digitalscholarship/blog/open-access-resource-sharing.

IUPUI University Library’s mission is to Inform, Connect, and Transform. The work I do as a resource sharing librarian is the literal fulfillment of our mission to Connect. My entire career as a librarian has focused on providing our users with access to the information resources they need to be successful in their teaching, research, and learning. I am, in fact, a self-proclaimed librarian devoted to resource sharing. As such, my interest in open access is no surprise. Though some have heralded open access as the death knell of our oldest resource sharing service, interlibrary loan (ILL), I believe it enhances my ability to connect University Library’s users to information. Open access isn’t the end of resource sharing; it is resource sharing.

The amount of information available is overwhelming, and it can be difficult for people to locate what they need even if it is open access. Resource sharing practitioners have a role to play in helping library users navigate this vast universe of possible sources. If we are thoughtful in our approach, we have the opportunity to capture the benefits of open access for our ILL operations and to educate our users about the changing nature of scholarly publishing. Facilitating discovery of open access materials should be one more tool in the resource sharing toolbox.

To learn more about the intersections of open access and interlibrary loan, check out Tina’s works on the topic in IUPUI ScholarWorks.

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Profiles in Resource Sharing

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.

Required acknowledgement: This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Resource Sharing 2016 Ryan Litsey & Tina Baich; Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Resource Sharing is available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wild20. The published version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1072303X.2016.1172912.