Discovery to Delivery: enabling an unmediated resource discovery and delivery service in a collaborative context

ALIA Library

Jilovsky, Cathie; Robinson, Michael

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
Introduction: Established in 1978, CAVAL is a not-for-profit consortium of eleven Australian academic libraries, offering a range of specialised products and services for the benefit of its members and for other libraries in the region. The CAVAL Reciprocal Borrowing Program, enabling higher education staff and students a simple and effective means of borrowing from the print collections of all participating libraries on a walk-in basis, has been coordinated by CAVAL for over 35 years. In addition, from its Melbourne base, CAVAL administers the purpose-built CARM (CAVAL Archival and Research Material) storage facility, preserving and providing access to over a million research volumes deposited into the CAVAL Shared Collection by member libraries, for the benefit of future generations of scholars.
Method: In recent years, the number of physical loans transacted between libraries in the Reciprocal Borrowing Program has declined, commensurate with similar declines in lending from their own collections, and partly due to new services such as the BONUS+ request and delivery service. Although these trends are expected to continue, it is anticipated that an ongoing need for physical books will continue in a reduced “long tail” manner. Libraries are buying less and less print, but a portion - particularly in some specific disciplines - remains available in print only. Additionally, as university libraries face continuing budget challenges, services and solutions which optimize access to print collections are needed to improve the cost-effectiveness of both past and ongoing investment in print resources. The use of sophisticated search and discovery systems can enable technical interoperability between disparate library systems to provide un-mediated identification and delivery of materials, and to promote their use in a collaborative resource sharing environment. In response to changes in the use of print both within and between academic libraries, CAVAL has initiated a pilot implementation of the Relais D2D (Discovery to Delivery) software, involving three of its member libraries, and incorporating access to the CAVAL Shared Collection. The pilot system offers un-mediated discovery and request from the collections of the participating libraries and delivery of physical print resources to eligible users via their home libraries. Similar to the service offered by some Australian libraries through the BONUS+ consortium, the Relais D2D software is operational at a number of large US library networks, including Uborrow and BorrowDirect. However, the D2D software is not based primarily on the use of a common library management system, but instead utilizes the NCIP protocol to enable interoperability between different library systems.
Results: This paper will describe the aims, implementation and outcomes of the CAVAL D2D pilot, from the experience and perspective of both CAVAL and the participating libraries. The paper will review the pilot process, its strengths and weaknesses, and examine the outcomes in terms of enhanced access to print materials and the potential benefits for both the libraries and their users.
Conclusion: The paper will conclude with a consideration of the pilot outcomes in the context of the changing landscape of the sharing of print resources between academic libraries, and will look at how discovery and request systems might not only displace traditional co-operative lending programs but also create potential for new service models and partnerships.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association