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Yesterday, I participated in the webinar, “The Shortest Distance Between Two Clicks: From Users to Article in No Time Flat,” sponsored by OCLC.

It is ILL Direct Request for Articles, basically. WorldCat knowledge base is the impetus for making this new feature a possibility. To get started, the participating library has to upload information regarding their ejournals, such as holdings and licensing for the Knowledge base. Once that’s complete, when an ILL article request is received, the license management tool will indicate if it is available fulltext and if a copy needs to be printed out before scanning to send to the borrowing library. If one’s own patron puts in an ILL request for something available fulltext in house, the ILL staff will catch it before it goes out to the lending library and with a click of the link, the article can be downloaded and the patron be notified. The turnaround time will definitely be reduced for both ILL lending and borrowing.

This all sounds fantastic, but the best part is that it is FREE! So far, about thirty libraries are participating in this program. But I believe it will grow, because it fits the trend in the library world to streamline work flow and provide the most efficient and expeditious service to our patrons, either in-house or external libraries.