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What a library loan can do for you

By Margaret Damghani
Opinion Editor

I needed to get my hands on a copy of a 1988 study in the medical journal the Lancet. I used the electronic resources that the Mary Livermore Library provides, but had no luck.

I found the article cited many times searching the databases available at the library. But all I could find was the citation or other studies that cited the one I wanted.

For the particular journal I needed, the library had full text from 1990. It seemed that the study I wanted was simply too old to obtain easily online.

After a few days of searching the World Wide Web and worrying about what I would do if I couldn’t use this study in a paper I was working on, I decided to go back to the library’s electronic resources.

Again, I found the citation for my study. The screen told me that I could get a copy of this study sent to the library using the interlibrary loan service.

I had seen this before, but for some reason I seemed to think that it would be a big hassle or wouldn’t reach me in time. After all, my paper was due in just a few days and I had a bad habit of getting stuff done too close to the deadline.

By this time I was desperate. This article had been a landmark study in the subject I was writing my article on it and I knew I had to have this particular one. I had even emailed the English professor who wrote the paper a few days before but never got a response.

The interlibrary loan page told me that UNCW’s library had copies of the Lancet from 1987.

I filled out the interlibrary loan registration on Monday afternoon, entered my citation and crossed my fingers.

By Tuesday at 2 p.m. the paper was delivered to my email address.

I could tell it was a scanned copy of the actual 1988 printed journal.

I don’t think I appreciated what the library could do for me until this point.

Now, as it is the membership drive month for the Friends of the Library, I have found out that for $10 a year after I graduate I can use the interlibrary loan whenever I need to access something else.

As a journalist, this could be a huge help to me in the future as I continue to research and write articles.

Students in a variety of fields might need these services in their future careers.

This experience was my incentive to be a member of the Friends of the Library.







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Updated: Sunday, November 4, 2007
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