Easier Inter-Library Loans on PEI

The Inter-Library Loan — wherein your local library obtains for you, usually at no cost, a book not in their local collection from another library, often one very far away — is the great secret of the book world. I have many friends — mostly librarians, I must admit — who are diehard borrowers of books using this system. And many more friends who have never ordered a book by Inter-Library Loan, never even considered it.

I’ve always found the online form for Inter-Library Loan on Prince Edward Island to be needlessly complex, and I’ve never got my library card handy to enter its number when required.

So I created a my own Inter-Library Loan Request Form. The form is simpler, and smarter — it will remember your personal details (using cookies) so that once you’ve entered them once, you don’t need to do it every time. Otherwise, it simply submits the information to the Provincial Library Service using the same mechanisms, and then the helpful library folks take over.

I’ve got two ILL books on the go right now. The first, About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made, came from Halifax. I picked up the second, Reporting Back: Notes on Journalism today; it came from British Columbia.

If you’ve never used the ILL system before, and you’re a reader, I encourage you to try the system out. I welcome comments on the design and function of the form, and on the books you read as a result.

If you’re interested in taking things one step further, read about the follow-up project, ISBN to Inter-Library Loan on the Reinvented Labs website.


Will's picture
Will on August 10, 2003 - 04:19 Permalink

[This is good]

Rob Paterson's picture
Rob Paterson on August 10, 2003 - 16:45 Permalink

Thanks Peter. On eof my indulgences is buying too many books. I must use the library more. One of my excuses is that they don’t have everything but this way — they do — so no excuse anymore. My only problem is that for good non fiction I like to note the margins and underline. So those ones I must still buy

Ken's picture
Ken on August 11, 2003 - 02:44 Permalink

Good information for us non Charlottetowners, now if only I could get the Globe & Mail west of St. Eleanors.

My PIN doesn’t seem to work on Abbycat, who do I see to get a login? I have a library card.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 11, 2003 - 04:22 Permalink

Ken, I believe your default PIN is your phone number, no dashes. Not sure; check with your local branch to make sure.

stephen good's picture
stephen good on August 13, 2003 - 21:36 Permalink

As always, you’re the best. Of course they should incorporate your system into theirs. I would suggest one improvement — their form has an “Additional Information” box which isn’t very helpful — I would suggest you put on your form “where you found this item referred to” or something like that so people can say “in today’s paper” or “on Oprah” — it helps the librarians check on the specifics of the request. Odd that it isn’t on their form.