Borrowing Course Texts from Other Libraries
As is standard practice with all academic libraries, Cole Library does not borrow course textbooks via interlibrary loan . The main reason is that we have no control over when (or even if) the request can be filled, as the book can be unavailable from other libraries for a wide variety of reasons. The resulting delay can pose a problem with a student's class readings. Similarly, the lending library has the power to recall the book anytime after it's been sent; consequently, the student could feasibly have to return the book before he/she is done using it for the class.
Additionally, it is often important for the class to be using the same edition of a textbook since significant changes may have been made from previous editions. Once again, we have no control over which edition we receive from the lending library, and, while we can request a specific edition, it is possible the wrong one will be sent, again causing problems for the student trying to complete their assignments.
Finally, there is the concern of scale and equity. Since every request is handled as soon as it comes in, it is very likely that multiple requests will be sent to the same lending library (which might have already sent us their copy of the book). It is not feasible for the ILL staff to track such potential duplicates to avoid them. Given the potential for everyone in a class to request the same book, the burden on our nearby lenders becomes noticeable. Moreover, while we may be able to provide a copy of a course text to one student via interlibrary loan, our chances of providing course texts to multiple students in the same course are very slim; consequently, we are not able to provide equitable service to our patrons.
In the event that the bookstore has run out of a course text, we can certainly try to get a copy for you through interlibrary loan, but again we would be facing the same obstacles outlined above. Please feel free to contact us anytime if we can be of assistance</p>