For the love of books.
I wonder if by "interlibrary loan system" you mean your larger county or city public library system that you yourself can regularly request books from? For instance, I have my local branch of the Harris County (TX) library, but I can request from the joint catalog anything from any of the branches. This isn't interlibrary loan, though.The reason I ask is that an "interlibrary loan system" doesn't have books. Real interlibrary loan means that you ask for a book, and (I'm simplifying slightly) if the book exists and is owned by essentially any library in the United States, your library can get it for you via interlibrary loan.Some public libraries don't feel they have the budget to spend too much time/money on interlibrary loan, so their service in that area is less than perfect.Do you know the public version of Worldcat (http://www.worldcat.org/)? You can search for a book, find it, then put in your zip code to see who around you has it. Even if your entire library system doesn't have it, it arms you with info so you can go to your library and see "I want this, can you ILL from here, here, or here?" If they have real interlibrary loan, they should be able to get it for you.Sorry to get all lecture-y on you, and apologies in advance if you knew all this!
Amy: Thanks for the info, it'll probably be helpful for any readers stumbling across this post. The Hennepin Country (MN) library system is fairly large and I can reserve books from anywhere anywhere within the system and pick it up at my branch library. MNLink gets me access to the other library systems within the state of Minnesota (probably not counting all of the small college private collections). The third option I have, and this is the avenue I have not yet explored (and also te one you mentioned at the end), is I can contact my library directly and they'll look outside of the state of Minnesota.I'm a moderately savvy, if ultimately lazy, library user. :) What I meant about the ILL is that when I searched MnLink the only Michael Cisco book that came up was The New Weird anthology (within my county library system no less). I consider MNLink to be interlibrary loan and and I can use MNLink to directly request books without going directly through a librarian. I haven't used Worldcat since college, though, and completely forgot about it. So thank you very much for that tip. :) I think I'll start using it more often when I want something that I can't find through HCL or MNLink.
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