Michael Arthur and Emy Decker from the University of Alabama noted that the goal of academic research libraries is to provide access to what users need. What decisions need to be made when the user makes a request? IS it more effective to borrow or buy an item? What do we do at the article level? Is a new ILL process necessary? One of the issues is that ILL and acquisitions are in different departments. The goals of Arthur and Decker’s study are to efficiently provide access to what users need, balancing efficiency with cost effectiveness, and to develop a paradigm for aligning users’ needs vs. the interests of the libraries. ILL books considered for purchase must be in stock, and must support research. Textbooks are not purchased by the library.
A pilot project used email accounts for communications between acquisitions and ILL staff members. Roles of liaison librarians have shifted to outreach and helping to determine what databases and journals should be acquired. Assessment of the process will begin in April 2022. Here are some of the criteria for success of the project.