Nov 092004
Authors: Megan Buettgenbach

The Association of Research Libraries recently named CSU’s

interlibrary loan program as the nation’s most efficient

interlibrary borrowing operation.

The interlibrary loan system at CSU’s Morgan Library allows

students to access items not available at CSU, according to Julie

Wessling, assistant dean of libraries.

“This is an important recognition to CSU,” Wessling wrote in an

e-mail interview. “Although we are one of the smallest libraries in

the ARL, this designation highlights a unique strength of our

library and offers collaboration opportunities for us with the

largest research libraries in North America, and beyond.”

Heather Smith, a graduate student in counseling psychology,

agreed with the ARL’s rating.

“I think the CSU library interlibrary loan department definitely

deserves the honor of being the nation’s highest ranking

interlibrary program,” Smith wrote in an e-mail interview. “They

are truly exceptional, both as an organization and as


Freshman Cassie Bohlmann, an employee of the interlibrary loan

office, thinks the recognition reflects the usefulness of the


“I think it is a really good resource for students because they

can go more in-depth in their research,” said Bohlmann, a political

science major. “Students can do more than they could on their


Part of the reason Morgan Library received this honor is because

of a program called Rapid that e-mails journal articles to students

upon request.

“Rapid is a unique system, designed and developed at CSU,”

Wessling wrote. “It offers desktop delivery of articles to users,

is less expensive than traditional interlibrary loan and faster

than traditional interlibrary loan.”

This document delivery service is beneficial to many students,

Smith said.

“(Interlibrary loan has) e-mailed me dozens of articles over the

last couple years, saving me tons of time and making the process of

writing my dissertation much less painful,” Smith wrote. “Their

turnaround time is amazingly fast, and on the extremely rare

occasion when I had a problem with an article, their staff was

professional, helpful and quick to resolve the problem.”

RAPID has been a valuable tool for the interlibrary loan system

because of the increase in users after the 1997 flood.

“Following the 1997 flood when the library suffered extensive

damage to its journal collection, the number of journal requests

made through interlibrary loan has increased substantially,”

Wessling wrote. “Prior to the flood, the library averaged 20,000

interlibrary loan borrowing requests per year. Now we exceed 70,000

requests per year.”

The program’s top ranking has been received with open arms by

the library’s staff.

“We are thrilled to have our interlibrary loan operation receive

this recognition,” Wessling wrote.

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