Information Today
Volume 17,  Number 5 • May 2000
RLG Launches ILL Manager Version 1.0

The Research Libraries Group (RLG) has announced that it has released the first production version of ILL Manager, an affordable, standards-based software program that can handle borrowing and lending transactions with a variety of other interlibrary loan (ILL) systems, according to the announcement.

ILL Manager provides libraries with streamlined work flow and real cost-savings, and it automates many routine procedures and supplies new features that work across systems. These features include acceptance of patron-initiated requests, routing requests to preferred lenders, and the automatic updating of request status when a document is sent by Ariel. Departments can concentrate on a single set of skills for handling many ILL partnerships, instead of maintaining and training for the expertise needed to use many different systems.

“RLG has an abiding, active commitment to library resource sharing in all its aspects,” said Linda West, director of RLG’s Member Programs & Initiatives. “ILL Manager is both an immediate and a long-term solution to improving and modernizing ILL processes. With it, we are delivering the functionality of yesterday’s centralized ILL systems in an extremely flexible and cost-effective manner, while providing a secure bridge between those older messaging systems and the newer distributed environment.”

Built on the next-generation, “distributed” model of interlibrary lending, which is based on international protocols, RLG’s ILL Manager is adaptable to almost any resource-sharing environment.

In a distributed ILL environment, all functionality and data reside in a library’s local system, and messages that follow a standard protocol are sent directly to various trading partners, who may be on other systems. The protocols and implementation guidelines that make this possible were established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 10160 & 10161) and the ILL Protocol Implementation Group. Different vendors’ systems that comply with these can talk to each other.

According to the announcement, the Windows-based ILL Manager works seamlessly with RLG’s widely used Ariel document transmission software. Ariel supports the request and delivery of “nonreturnables”—scanned images of articles, chapters, drawings, photographs, and more. While ILL Manager can work well with Ariel, the RLG Union Catalog (RLIN database), and the centralized RLIN ILL system, it can also be used independent of any RLG services.

“We created RLG’s ILL Manager specifically to meet the needs of the diverse and global partnership in SHARES, RLG’s international resource-sharing program,” said Dennis Massie, program officer for SHARES. “Working to meet the specifications of this extraordinary group of institutions resulted in a powerful, forward-looking system that a library of any size or type can take advantage of. As a former ILL librarian in an RLG member institution, I am thrilled at the way ILL Manager has turned out.”

Source: Research Libraries Group, Mountain View, CA, 800/537-7546, 650/691-2333; Fax: 650/964-0943;

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