Request uses simple rules to determine item availability and these work as intended the majority of the time. For example, the Request service checks journal holdings using “start year/end year” and assumes that everything between those years is available. For other materials, like books, Request interprets the circulation status “Circulation information is unavailable” obtained from the home campus by Melvyl as “available on campus”. When the user clearly sees that her campus does not have vol. 17, issue 9, the Request message stating the item is available at the home campus is a roadblock.
The new button within Request, “Process as an Interlibrary Loan; this item is not available at my home campus” removes the roadblock for these items and allows users to get past the availability issue to continue with their Request. Items in this category are currently sent to the home campus ILL unit for review. Request includes the home campus holdings in the information forwarded with the citation, to make it simple for the ILL staff to review the request and determine if it should go forward.
This is the first Request function to be available on a campus-by-campus basis. Eight campuses elected to participate in the November 27th rollout, with UCSD and UCSF opting to wait until 2008. The participating campuses have two options for handling these items, they can choose to have ILL staff review each item, or they can send these items directly to the first ILL lender with the rest of the ILL requests. At this time all campuses have chosen to review the items.