Feb 262008
Authors: Marjorie Hamburger

Frequent users of Redbox, Barnes and Noble and Blockbuster should think twice before swiping their Visa.

There’s a secret to obtaining resources and entertainment right on campus, absolutely free of charge and open to all students: Interlibrary Loans.

Morgan Library’s ILL system is an easy way to get materials shipped from anywhere in the world straight to the Morgan front desk and into students’ outstretched palms.

Many students who use the library, librarians said, have never heard of the system.

Cristi Mac Waters, the Interlibrary Loan coordinator, said that only about 15 to 20 percent of undergraduates use this system, compared with an estimated 70 percent of graduates.

When utilized, however, ILL can track down resources worldwide.

The Prospector system, a section of ILL, requests items within Colorado and Wyoming. If the material is located elsewhere, ILL will branch out nationally and internationally. British and Canadian libraries are frequently used to loan items.

For students, the ILL system can be a great tool for both academics and entertainment, students who use the program say.

Not only can students reserve books, journal articles and other scholarly supplies, but they can also get access to DVDs, VHSs, CDs and magazines.

From an old Hitchcock film to a new band’s hit album, ILL can find it. Students can get any genre from any time period, free of charge.

Rochelle Emerson, an undergraduate Public Relations major and frequent ILL user, said she “swears by it.” Emerson uses ILL both during the school year for textbook reservations as well as during the summer for pleasure reading.

To check out the ILL system at Morgan Library, go to the library’s homepage at lib.colostate.edu, and then click on the Interlibrary Loan link. This Web site will guide users through the steps to obtain items.

The library staff claims to be extremely helpful and willing to assist students in the process.

“The ILL will try everything people put in,” Waters said.

Staff writer Margorie Hamburger can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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