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Thursday, August 20, 2009

When the book you want...

...wakes up in the City That Never Sleeps. The DVD you crave is in Kalamazoo-zoo-zoo. The CD of your favorite record album from the 70s is deep in the heart of Texas. What can you do?

We know how popular our "Place Hold" system is here at DPPL. You search our Catalog to find items not only in Des Plaines but in dozens of other libraries in the surrounding suburbs. See something you like? Click "Place Hold," type in your library card number and password - et voilĂ  as they say in Paris, your book or movie is sent to DPPL for you to pick up and enjoy.

What happens when that special object of desire is farther afield? What if it's in Fremont, California, rather than the Fremont Area library in Mundelein, or Park Ridge, New Jersey, rather than Illinois? Chances are, we can get it for you, through a nifty library service called Interlibrary Loan.

The easiest way to search for items beyond our immediate library consortium and order them through Interlibrary Loan is to use WorldCat. You can search WorldCat much like you do our Catalog: Keyword, Author, Title, etc. When your list of results appears, you'll easily see the items we have in Des Plaines, they are marked with: When you see an item of interest that is not held at DPPL, click the title to see all the details. Underneath the title, author and other pertinent information, you'll see the GET THIS ITEM options. (Ignore the one that says "Check the catalogs in your library" - that's what you're doing by checking WorldCat.)

If you're interested in seeing which libraries own the item, click on "Libraries worldwide that own item." The number that follows is the number of WorldCat libraries with this specific item. When you're ready to place a request, click on "Borrow this item from another library (Interlibrary Loan)."

Fill in the form that follows. It will be sent to our Interlibrary Loan department and they will order it for you. It may take a little longer than our local "Place Hold" service does, because WorldCat searches all across the country and even other countries. NOTE: the Direct Delivery option is not available at this time. The item will be sent here to DPPL for you to pick up, not to your home address.

It's that simple. To find WorldCat when this blog post fades away: from any page on our main Web site, hover over the "Reference" menu, choose "Research Databases A-Z" and scroll all the way to the bottom for WorldCat. My first library job was in the Interlibrary Loan department at a college library. The people doing Interlibrary Loan work love the thrill of the hunt for an unusual or rare item, and you'll reap the benefits.

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