As recommended by the University Librarians and the Library Planning and Action Initiative Task Force, the University of California Libraries are implementing Patron Initiated Requesting (PIR) to facilitate rapid access to physical materials on all campuses and in the regional storage facilities (NRLF and SRLF).  PIR is a major component of the concept of a shared UC library collection. PIR will enhance convenience for the user and save library staff time, on a per transaction basis, that is currently devoted to manual verification and transmission of requests.  It will be implemented as a single request button on the MELVYL Web display screens.  How the request is processed will be determined by the system (depending on the type of material being requested — the PIR service itself will focus on returnable items, while requests for other materials will be intercepted and routed as usual) and will be transparent to the user.

In its eventual form, the PIR service will automatically check availability of materials at campus libraries and eligibility of users from circulation systems, be capable of automatically spreading the load of requests across the campuses, follow ISO standards for Interlibrary requests, and automate status reports, tracking, overdue items, and billing.  In the pilot phase, currently scheduled to begin in December 1998, the service will focus on authorizing users via the central patron database of the Melvyl Request service, formatting to ISO standards and sending requests to the “OCLC Direct to Profile” ILL system, thereby ensuring accurate citations with no need for rekeying.

Implementation of PIR may require changes in internal UC interlibrary workflows, and because of enhanced convenience and faster delivery, may increase the number of interlibrary requests received.  Implementation of PIR is a collaborative effort of all nine campuses and the CDL. Analysis, specification, and programming will include the participation of personnel from San Diego, Davis, Berkeley, and the CDL.  The CDL is also providing oversight and initial funding for technology development.  SOPAG and the University Librarians are involved in reviewing and recommending policies for PIR testing and implementation.  Testing will be designed to involve all nine campuses, with close monitoring and feedback by their Interlibrary Services units.

Watch CDLINFO and the new CDL web site at for further updates on PIR.