If You're Like Me

Interlibrary LoanCredit: http://libraryschmibrary.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/interlibraryloanbooks.jpgI come form a small town. We had a small public library, which to my knowledge hadn't updated their collection of books since the 1950s. To make things suck even more, if your school was anything like mine, you were subject to reading pretty much the most ridiculously boring and irrelevant stories that you had no interest in and could see no value in at the time. This completely turned me off to reading period, so I never developed a desire of reading to learn.

I got all the way through elementary and high school and then went off to college. About halfway college through my older brother introduced me to a program he had been taking advantage of called Interlibrary Loan, which he had been fortunate to have been introduced to while attending a public university.

Now, if you're like most people I've met, they have absolutely no clue what this program is, because if they did, I am 100% positive more people would be taking advantage of it.

So, What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan (abbreviated ILL) is a service that allows a user of one library to borrow books or various other media that are owned by another library. The user makes a request with their local library, which, acting as an intermediary, identifies owners of the desired item, places the request, receives the item, makes it available to the user, and arranges for its return. Although books are the most frequently requested items, some libraries will also lend audio and video recordings, maps, and sheet music.

My Results With Interlibrary Loan

Around the time when I discovered Interlibrary Loan I was actually becoming more interested in going to places like Barnes & Noble and looking and new books and magazines relevant to what my interests were. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I learned that there was a program available, through the library system, that would allow me to get these fresh new books, that I was actually interested in reading. So, over the last couple of years I've really made use of the program and have been fortunate enough to have moved to a larger city that has an excellent public library system, and a lot of funding for ILL. So, remember there are plenty of opportunities out there to get to where you want to be in life, you just have to find them. ILL provides anyone with a library card to basically get an education for free. It's not about how many resources you have, it's about how resourceful you are.

Interlibrary Loan(56225)Credit: http://www.yalibrarian.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Public-Libraries.jpg

Top 3 Benefits of Using Interlibrary Loan

  • Access to Most Any Media You Want - ILL allows you to pretty much have access to any book, cd or dvd that is available in your library's ILL network. Some libraries have more funding for ILL, some have less. Many times don't expect to get brand new books, as soon as they come out. You may have to wait a few months. But, really, there are so many great books and media out there, I'm sure you can find a substitute to pass the time until your selection becomes available.
  • They Do ALL the Work for You - You just sign up and submit your orders online and they take care of all the delivering of orders, and then notify you when it's arrived.
  • It's FREE - Best of all is that it's completely free. I'm a big fan of being frugal when and where I can. And Interlibrary Loan has saved me literally thousands of dollars I would have had to spend on books over the few years I've been using it so far.

So, I encourage you to visit your local public or university library, to see if they are a part of the Interlibrary Loan program. If you were like me, this could completely change your perception of public libraries and reignite a passion for learning - as well as save you quite a bit of money.