Annual Summary of Distributed Library Statistics

´╗┐In July of each year, I collate and summarize the resource sharing statistics from the IAMSLIC Distributed Library project. 2007/08 represents the sixth complete year of the resource sharing program. In contrast to last year when a substantial increase in the overall volume of interlibrary borrowing requests took place, the past year seems to indicate stability and modest growth. A total of 4479 requests were submitted during 2007/08, representing a 15% increase over the level of activity of the previous year. A total of 18,857 requests have been submitted via the system since its inception in 2002.

The resource sharing program continues to be broadly international in scope, with 75 different IAMSLIC lending libraries in 23 countries receiving borrowing requests from 115 IAMSLIC libraries in 41 countries, very similar to last year’s numbers. 39 (52%) of those 75 lending libraries are in the United States and they received 59.3% of the total requests. Mexico, Australia, Canada and Germany collectively received 33.2% of the borrowing requests, with the remainder spread among 18 other countries.

The Hatfield Marine Science Center of Oregon State University (U.S.) was the top lending library for the fifth time in the six-year life of the program, followed by the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Canada), the University of Hawaii (U.S.), the Alfred Wegener Institut in Bremerhaven (Germany), the CSIRO Marine Research Library (Australia), and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Library (U.S.).

There were no significant shifts from the past year in the proportions of lending and borrowing across the Regional Groups. The Latin American region continues to make active use of the resource sharing program while contributing a substantial amount of lending in return, including an increasing percentage of requests filled within the region. EURASLIC still conducts much of its regional interlibrary loan activity via its discussion list, so the number of transactions via the Distributed Library does not reflect the full volume of resource sharing in the region. The volume of activity remains low in Africa and moderate in the Pacific region.

The complete set of data is available on the Distributed Library website via the Resource Sharing Statistics link at It includes a spreadsheet for each year that offers charts and additional analysis of lending and borrowing patterns. I encourage you to look at the 2007/08 numbers and will be glad to answer any questions you may have about the data.

Steve Watkins
California State University, Monterey Bay, Library

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1 Comment

  1. iamslic Said,

    July 9, 2008 @ 11:14 am

    Thanks for posting the stats Steve and an even bigger thanks for launching the Distributed Library six years ago. Kudos to Janet Webster and the Hatfield Marine Science Center Library staff for their generosity when it comes to resource sharing– Marilyn Guin would be proud!