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requestIT CT - Statewide Interlibrary Loan: Basic ILL

Statewide Interlibrary Loan



Monday, January 22, 2018:  

findIT and requestIT: Offline starting at 9 pm on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Digital Back Office has scheduled the server move for Wednesday, January 24th.  findIT and requestIT will be down starting at 9 pm on Tuesday, January 23. The servers should be back on-line at some point on Wednesday. Apologies for the inconvenience. 

- Steve Cauffman,, requestIT CT Coordinator

Staff Links

FulfILLment Staff Login (open this first; opens in a new tab): 

findIT CT Catalog (open this second; opens in a new tab): 
Note - New tweak: You can use the findIT CT link in FulfILLment. When you login to FulfILLment you will see a link to the findIT CT catalog on the right hand side of the menu bar, next to the "Log Out" link. Click that link and it will open findIT in a new tab. 
Note: You only need to open the findIT CT Catalog if you need to place a hold request. 

Chrome is the preferred browser. 

Loan Policy for requestIT Participants

The spreadsheet below is limited to libraries that participate in requestIT (note the date on the file). You can use this list to see if a requestIT library will lend a particular format.

The spreadsheet below is limited to libraries that do not participate in requestIT (note the date on the file). You can use this list if one of your borrowing requests is unfilled in requestIT. 

Lending / Supplying Library Workflow

Pending requests

ILL requests from other libraries will be in your Pending Requests / Requests from Other Libraries queue. Be sure to check this queue and respond to all new lending requests each day that you work.

If you can fill a request, update it to "Capture Item." This will move the request to your Outbound Transits / To Other Libraries queue. You can check out the item in your library's circulation system and ship the item to the borrowing/requesting library. 

If you can't fill a request, update it to "Retarget Request." This will forward the request to another lending/supplying library. 

If you get the same request multiple times from the same library, it's best to e-mail them to let them know that you can't fill the request. This happens when your library is the only library that owns the item or the only one that participates in requestIT and it will happen when the borrowing library drills down and requests from a specific bibliographic record (rather than the meta or master record). Until we enhance the retargeting feature, it's best to e-mail the borrowing library to let them know that you can't send the request. They can then Cancel the request and try obtaining the item through another system. To get a requestIT library's e-mail address, you can use the "Participating Libraries" link, which is on the menu bar at the top of the FulfILLment when you login as a staff member. You can find the library on the  list, click their name and get their contact information. 


Items that borrowing/requesting libraries return will be in your Inbound Transits / My Returns queue. When you receive an item that you lent, you update it to "Receive Item." This will complete the ILL process and the request will 'disappear' from the system. The system will keep a tally for statistical purposes. Don't forget to 'check in' the item in your library's ILS.

Borrowing / Requesting Library Workflow

Initiating a request

To initiate or place an ILL request, you must login to FulfILLment as a staff member and then open the findIT CT catalog. You can search for an item in the catalog and click "Request ILL" and then "Submit" to place the request. As soon as you get the message "Hold was successfully placed," the request is pending at a lending/supplying library. You must keep track of patrons and what they request using another system, such as paper, Excel spreadsheet, etc. so that when the item arrives, you know which patron requested the item.

If you need multiple copies of a title, you need to 'drill down' and place requests from individual bibliographic records. For those who attended training, this is what we did in the second half of the class when I had you find and request something that the Middletown Library Service Center owned. I recommend 'drilling down' only when you need to request multiple copies of a title - in all other cases, I recommend placing requests on a meta or master record. 

Requests that you have successfully placed are in your Pending Requests / Request for My Patrons queue. When a request has been filled, it will disappear from your Pending Requests and move to your Inbound Transits / ILLs For My Patrons queue.

When an item arrives

When a lending/supplying library captures your request and ships it,  the request will move to your Inbound Transits / ILLs For My Patrons queue. When the item arrives, you can update it to "Receive Item," which moves the request to your On Shelf / For My Patrons queue. You can go to that queue and update the request to "Check Out." This will move the request to the Currently Circulating / To My Patrons queue. It will also trigger a due date, which is 35 days from the date the item was updated to Check Out. At this point you can handle the item as you do with any of your other offline or e-mail requests. You can check out the item to your patron in your library's circulation system.

Returning an item

When the patron is done with the item and you can return it, you will find the request in the Currently Circulating / To My Patrons queue and you can update it to "Check In." This will move the request to your Outbound Transits / Returns to Other Libraries and it will put the request in Inbound Transits / My Returns for the lending/supplying library. Don't forget to 'check in' the item in your library's ILS.

FulfILLment System Definitions

Activate Request: Used in conjunction with Suspend Request - the borrowing/requesting library can Activate Request which targets and re-sends the request to a supplying library. You use Activate for requests that were previously suspended. (See also Suspend Request)

Cancel Request: The borrowing/requesting library can Cancel Request which removes the request from the FulfILLment system. 

Capture Item: The lending/supplying library can use Capture Item when then can send an item to fill a request. This will move the request to their Outbound Transits / ILLs to Other Libraries.

Check Out: The borrowing/requesting library can Check Out a request that is in their On Shelf / For My Patrons queue. This will move the request to the Currently Circulating / To My Patrons queue. It will also trigger a due date, which is 35 days from the date the item was updated to Check Out. 

On Shelf: The On Shelf queue includes items that are on a library's hold shelf. The On Shelf queue has two sub-queues, one for "For My Patrons" and one for "At Other Libraries." You will only be able to update requests that are On Shelf / For My Patrons. We recommend that you update requests to "Check Out" that are in On Shelf / For My Patrons when you receive the item. 

Receive Item: Use Receive Item in the following two instances:

  1. The borrowing/requesting library can Receive Item for requests that are in their Inbound Transits / ILLs for My Patrons and use it when they receive an item to fill an ILL request. The update will move the request to "On Shelf / For My Patrons"
  2. The lending/supplying library can use Receive Item for requests that are in their Inbound Transits / My Returns and use it when they get an item back that they had lent to another library. This will complete the ILL cycle and the request will 'disappear' from the system. 

Retarget Request: The lending/supplying library can use Retarget Request when they cannot send an item to fill a request. 

Suspend Request: Used in conjunction with Activate Request - the borrowing/requesting library can Suspend Request which pulls an active request from a supplying/lending library and holds the request in the Pending / Reuqests by My Patrons queue. It does not cancel or remove the request from the system. It’s sort of like a ‘pause’ button. (See also Activate Request)

requestIT Service Definitions

Bibliomation - Library network or consortium in Connecticut. Partnering with the Connecticut State Library to develop findIT CT and requestIT CT. Bibliomation uses Evergreen software for their ILS. 

Connectors - Provide automation in FulfILLment that allows findIT and requestIT to interoperate with your library's ILS. Connectors  automate some ILL processes and may be used to keep your library's holdings in findIT up to date.

DLD - Division of Library Development; part of the Connecticut State Library

Equinox - The company that developed and supports FulfILLment and Evergreen.

Evergreen - Open source ILS, used by Bibliomation in Connecticut.

findIT CT - Connecticut's statewide library catalog using FulfILLment.

FulfILLment - An open source ILL system developed by Equinox; findIT CT and requestIT CT are both powered by FulfILLment. 

ILS - Integrated Library System.

requestIT CT - the Interlibrary Loan module in the findIT CT catalog using FulfILLment. 

Automated ILL System -  ILL system with 'connectors' that allow findIT and requestIT to interoperate with a library's ILS

Basic ILL System - Stand-alone ILL system with no connections to a library's ILS.  The Basic ILL system allows staff members to place holds on behalf of patrons and to track those requests. This is what we will be using statewide starting in September 2017.

Older Updates and Tips

Earlier in December, we sent a list of enhancements to Equinox for their consideration.

Here's a wrap-up on the training that we offered from September to December 2017:

  • 17 Training Sessions
  • 8 Different Locations
  • 193 Attendees
  • 133 Libraries represented

Question: Can I fill a request with an item that has a non-matching barcode? 

Answer: Yes. For the purposes of the basic ILL system that we are using, you can fill a request with an item that has a non-matching barcode. Try first to find the copy with the matching barcode, but if you don’t have it or can’t find it, then send an item that has a non-matching barcode.

The barcode will become crucial when we start using connectors. Until then using a non-matching barcode is okay. You are still going to check out the item to the other library (for your lending requests) or to a patron (for your borrowing requests), so you’ll still have a record of the barcode on the item. There is no way to change the barcode on the request and we may ask for that ability as an enhancement.

That’s happened to me a couple of times here at MLSC – I could only fill the request with a non-matching barcode. I noted it on the paperwork that I send with the book, and I send them the copy of the item I had on hand. 

Tip: A workaround to print multiple requests - open them each in a new tab and print from the new tab. Details: If you want to print multiple requests, try this: 

  • Right-click on each of the barcodes.
  • Click “Open link in a new tab.”
  • Repeat that for each title/barcode so that each one opens in a new tab.
  • Go to one of the new tabs
  • Print it out using the Print Details button
  • Close the tab
  • Repeat that for each tab until you've printed them all. 

After your printed all of them and closed the tabs, you should be back to the tab that has the main FulfILLment staff page open. Sometimes opening things in a new tab doesn’t work properly, but it seems to be working for me using Chrome. 

Tip: If there are more than 10 requests in an ILL queue, you can scroll through them using the arrow (>>) that appears just to the left of the 'Action' button. If the arrow isn't there, then there are 10 or fewer requests in that queue. 

Note on Retargeting: When a request reappears in your Pending / Requests By My Patrons queue without the barcode and library, that means the supplying library wasn’t able to fill the request.

Try Retargeting the request and see if it automatically adds a new library and barcode to the request (it may take a few seconds to do this, so be patient). The system should be keeping track of which libraries the request goes to and we shouldn’t have to keep paperwork.

If you Retarget a request and the library name and barcode fields remain blank, it means that all of the libraries on that record (and there are only 25 pilot libraries, so the choices are limited) have been tried and couldn’t fill the request, so you’ll have to try another method to request the item, such as placing an offline request.

Question: If a lending library doesn't respond, does a request automatically get retargeted? 

Answer: Yes. If a lending library doesn't respond to a request it will automatically retarget the request after 4 days / 96 hours. This assumes that there is another lending library that owns the item. (This had been set for 3 days / 72 hours, but we increased it to 4 days. It's counting weekends and some libraries are only open a couple or few days per week. Also some ILL staff members are only part time and are not at the library daily, so we increased the automatic retarget by 1 day. 

Interlibrary Loan Code

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) provides the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (linked below). The Explanatory Supplement to the code (also linked below) points out that the code "does not override individual or consortial agreements or regional or state codes which may be more liberal or more prescriptive. This national code is intended to provide guidelines for exchanges between libraries where no other agreement applies." The Interlibrary Loan code is reviewed and revised every seven years. The current version went through a 2 year revision process and the resulting changes were approved in January 2016.

ILL requests processed in requestIT CT fall under the provisions of this code.

Blank ILL form for offline requests

For background on the ILL Code  and the latest revision try the article, "Unlocking the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States" (PDF)

ILS Functionality Survey

FulfILLment, the software we are using for findIT and requestIT, has the ability to communicate and interoperate with your library's Integrated Library System (ILS). This interoperation automates some manual Interlibrary Loan (ILL) tasks and will make the ILL process much easier for your library's ILL and circulation staff members. It can also be used to keep your library's holdings in findIT CT up to date. 

In order for the functionality to work, both findIT and your library's ILS need to support standards or protocols. Once we determine what standards your ILS supports, our vendor for findIT will be able to build 'connectors' that will provide the automation.

Note: If your library is not part of a network and if your library is interested in participating in requestIT CT, then we would like you to complete the survey. If your library is part of Bibliomation, CONNcert, Library Connection, LION, SECONN, or Primo/CSCU, you do not need to take the survey. We either have been or will be in touch with people who administer your consortium and we will get the answers from them.

The survey at is designed to help us determine what standards your ILS supports. 

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