Just to review, ILLiad is the software we use to manage interlibrary loan and ZSR Delivers requests.

Thankfully no speeding ticket this year. It was a cold, rainy trip to Virginia Beach and I opted to listen to a Scandinavian murder mystery, instead rockin’ out. (spoiler…the lady lawyer did it.)

I went to several informative sessions and enjoyed some F2F time with other librarians whom I normally only interact with over email and phone. Sharing a pint with someone makes it easier to ask them for a scan of an obscure 18th century score, or a rush loan of an international economics tome. All in the name of greasing the wheels of interlibrary commerce.

The keynote fell short, which seems to be a trend for these conferences. As you may remember, the highlight of last year’s keynote was a venn diagram. This year was no different.

My apologizes if you start singing Carly Simon (some think she was referring to James Taylor, I suspect Warren Beatty)…but I digress.

The best session of interest to those outside the interlibrary loan community was about assessment – how to use ILLiad to show our worth, to tell our story. The presenter compared librarians to ninjas – we swiftly move around helping other campus entities (departments, centers…) succeed. Sound familiar? The Chemistry department will have different institutional goals than the Humanities Institute. But both rely on the library for help meeting these goals. We have to be flexible, strong and everywhere at once.

One of the cool things her library is doing is using hash tags in their social media posts to highlight areas of strength and growth in the library -especially when they support overall university goals. For example:

#ZSRLearns when we contribute to cultivating students through instruction and academic enrichment

#ZSRSpaces when we initiate improvements to the living/learning environment

#ZSRExperts when librarians use their expertise to make a difference at the university level

The way we gather statistics in ILLiad and what we do with them can aid in these pursuits. At the presenter’s library, they ask students what course they will be using the interlibrary loan item for. They ask faculty if the request is for research or teaching, and if teaching for what class. This can more accurately pinpoint the areas of study that interlibrary loan supports and be especially useful for interdisciplinary courses that defy department/major (i.e. Interpreting & Translation Studies.)

This data can be shared with liaisons in the hopes of improved service and support. The presenter mentioned one conversation she had with the liaison to a department that was notorious for placing interlibrary loan article requests for items the library owned electronically. This lead to stronger education effort.

Other conference highlights included a session on creating mobile friendly web pages. This is on my G/O list for 2014. Stay tuned…..

Then there was this session covering the integration of interlibrary loan and course reserves work flows. The presenter’s situation was different but I did learn a few things of a technical nature. I was also able to make brilliant use of social media. The presenter is my counterpart at Yale. He showed this slide to explain how his boss (the head of Access Services) forced the merging of interlibrary loan and reserves staff (notice the picture of Dr. Evil.)

Now it just so happens that the aforementioned boss is a good friend of mine – a friend on Facebook. So I posted this picture to his timeline as the event was happening with the caption “Evil Architecture at Yale! THX Brad.” Lots of virtual hilarity ensued. Trust me. (then I quickly put my phone down and resumed taking notes….whew).