2014/15 Summary of Resource Sharing Statistics

In July of each year, I collate and summarize the resource sharing statistics from the IAMSLIC Distributed Library project. 2014/15 represents the 13th complete year of the resource sharing program. A total of 2932 requests were submitted during 2014/15, an overall decrease of 19% from the previous year. This is the third consecutive year in which the overall volume of transactions has declined significantly, from a peak of 5310 in 2010/11. A total of 49,528 requests have been submitted via the system since its inception in 2002. Of particular note this year, 99% of all requests were for copies of papers, while only 1% (31) were requests to borrow physical items.

The resource sharing program continues to be broadly international in scope, with 68 different IAMSLIC lending libraries in 26 countries receiving borrowing requests from 96 IAMSLIC libraries in 43 countries, similar to previous years’ numbers. 25 (37%) of those 68 lending libraries are in the United States and they received 62.5% of the total requests, which is close to the historical average. Four libraries in Germany received 17.7% of the total requests, while Mexico, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, New Zealand, Argentina, and Greece collectively received 11.5% of the borrowing requests.

The Alfred Wegener Institut in Bremerhaven (Germany) retained its status as the top lending library this year, followed by Hatfield Marine Science Center of Oregon State University (U.S.), the Pell Marine Science Library at the University of Rhode Island (U.S.), Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University (U.S.), and GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum fur Ozeanforschung Kiel (Germany).

Overall activity across the Regional Groups remains fairly balanced and the number of European libraries who are requesting and lending materials via the system has continued to increase. EURASLIC and SAIL still conduct much of their regional interlibrary loan activity via their discussion lists, so the number of transactions via the Distributed Library does not reflect the full volume of resource sharing in those regions. 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 significant percentage of requests filled within the region. Borrowing activity in Africa and the Pacific region also continued at moderate levels, concentrated primarily in a small number of institutions.

The complete set of data is available on the Distributed Library website via the Resource Sharing Statistics link at http://www.iamslic.org/ill/. 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 2014/15 numbers and will be glad to answer any questions you may have about the data.

Steve Watkins
California State University, Monterey Bay, Library
swatkins@csumb.edu

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