Report Definition

ALA RUSA STARS and Colleagues Project

Would you like to see the Resource Sharing community come up with some standard definitions for how we do reports? Do you count ILL Borrowing requests that you supplied from your own licensed content as a fill? What does your request system count? How do your reporting bodies define this? What other types of reports do you see differences? Does it matter? See below for more information. Look for a survey invitation in Mid March 2019. Contact me if you haven’t seen this opportunity and would like to contribute please comment below or contact me.

Consider filling out our survey available until March 25 available at

Lars Leon, University of Kansas,

Background ~

How do you define a filled ILL Borrow Copy request? Do you include requests from your patrons that you find locally available?  If libraries, vendors, and reporting agencies use different definitions then that makes it hard to compare data across libraries. Is that okay? Is there interest in more standard definitions within our community?  Should we have some best practices, guidelines, and/or standards?  What other types of statistics beyond filled borrowing copies are worth exploring?

Some have asked these questions off and on through the years. At the 2018 OCLC Resource Sharing Conference Amie Freeman and Megan Palmer, University of South Carolina, gave a presentation on Comparing Apples to Oranges: An Investigation into the Validity of Interlibrary Loan Statistics.  This generated interest in exploring this.  

ALA RUSA STARS Exec Committee asked the ALA RUSA STARS Research and Assessment Committee to explore. We have formed a working group of committee members and colleagues to report back to ALA RUSA STARS Exec for their consideration prior to 2019 ALA Annual.  If it is decided that we should develop best practices, guidelines, and/or a code then it could go to ALA RUSA STARS Codes Committee to start working out details at 2019 ALA Annual.

We have divided our work into three parts:

  1. Seeing definitions of what reporting agencies are asking for.
  2. Seeing what resource sharing vendors are currently using.
  3. Seeking perspectives from resource sharing practitioners.

Would you like to provide input? Look for an invitation to a survey to go out in Mid March. If you haven’t seen it but would like to comment you can enter comments below and/or email me at Thanks.

Lars Leon, University of Kansas Libraries

ALA RUSA STARS Research and Assessment Committee Chair

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