14. September 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Resources · Tags:

For the first time since high school I have a county library card.

Since I’ve always worked at a major University I’ve always been able to use my ID card as my library card and until recently I’ve used their libraries to fulfill all of my library needs.

Last night on our way home from work we stopped by one of our local county library branches and I filled out the necessary information to get my library card.  The book I wanted was out but I was able to request a copy from another branch fairly easily.

I still plan to make full use of UNC-CH’s fabulous libraries but I’m kind of excited to have a county library card again.

A lot of people dismiss county libraries as serious research tools because they often don’t have the same resources as major university libraries and the like but that doesn’t mean their not still valuable assets.  Every library in the US is part of the InterLibrary Loan System*.  This means that if your local library doesn’t have the resource you are looking for you can request that resource through ILLiad (a system for requesting items through InterLibrary Loan) and they can have it brought in from another library for you.  It may take some time and there may be a small fee associated with it but you can still get that awesome resource that you’ve been looking for with out having to travel to a university library.

If you are interested in trying to obtain a resource through the InterLibrary Loan System go to your local library and ask your friendly neighborhood librarians what you need to do.  They’ll be able to answer your questions.  They’ll also be able to help you fill out a request card or direct you to a web page (like this one for Wake County: http://wakegov.illiad.oclc.org/illiad/interlibraryloan.html) where you can submit your request online.

*Note:  Unfortunately it appears that some areas have been so negatively affected by the recession that they have had to temporarily discontinue the service (see a friend’s comment below).  If you area has been hit hard by the recession and you are interested in using the ILL system be sure to check with your library to make sure it is still available.

2 Comments

  1. Not every library unfortunately. Up here they are so strapped for cash they have cut that out and you can only get loans from within a 6 library network, and that only on books they have had for over 6 months. I need to get off my but and see if I can somehow get a card at the local college, but other things have taken priority so far.

    • That’s very unfortunate because I really feel that the ILL system is one of the great resources of our libraries. 🙁 Hopefully the local colleges will not have been as affected by the recession.

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