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Is there a way to populate an ILLiad request form from WorldCat?

Patrons can use WorldCat to find records for books and more around the world, including books not part of the Virginia Tech Libraries collection. Being able to easily request these books through interlibrary loan would be helpful.
Last Updated: Feb 15, 2013  |  126 Views

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Yes, but you'll need to use the version of WorldCat from FirstSearch and not the "free" one at worldcat.org.

We have configured FirstSearch databases to connect to our Get VText service that can lookup access to online articles, ebooks, conference papers and more, and then link you to ILLiad when what you want is not part of our collection (online or in print). The free worldcat.org does not offer that same kind of customization (but there are ways you can configure worldcat.org to present a Get VText link). Both databases use the same data; they are just presently differently.

In the FirstSearch database, you can search by author, title, subject, keyword, or many other usual means of searching library catalogs. When you find a record of an item of interest, clicking through the title will show all the details WorldCat knows about the item, including which libraries own a copy. It prominently displays when the Virginia Tech Libraries have a copy and gives a link to see local information in Addison, the library catalog. Remember, if you are an extended campus user and have logged in to My Library Account prior to searching, you'll see a link to request the item through ILLiad in the External Links box on the right side of the screen. This link will provide a fill-out form to request this item.

If we don't own the book in question, next check the list of owning libraries. WorldCat displays records from libraries around the world, while ILL can only borrow from libraries in the U.S. and Canada. If only international libraries are listed, you should contact your college librarian for other options to obtain the book. (If you see multiple Virginia libraries listed, you can be sure you will receive the book very quickly as libraries in Virginia have agreed to expidite ILL requests among us.)

When you are sure ILL could get the item in question, next look for the Get VText link. The Get VText page will offer a link to request the item through ILLiad. The ILLiad request form will be filled in with as much information as WorldCat passes to it (for books, that's often very little). If the OCLC number on the ILLiad form is filled in, your request can be processed as quickly as possible. (Copying and pasting unfilled-in fields from the WorldCat display does not hurt, though.)

The free worldcat.org database has a simpler interface than the FirstSearch version. That database can detect your location and will offer links to the closest library. If you either enter our zip code (24061) in the zip code field, or create a MyWorldCat profile and set us as a preferred library, you should get Get VText links. But we have absolutely no control over this version versus the FirstSearch version we're paying for. So we recommend using the FirstSearch version when access to ILLiad forms is important.

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