When people check out a book we’ve borrowed for them from another library, they are often curious to know where it came from. I see them look at the book’s property stamp as soon as I hand it over. I wondered where the loans have been coming from, too; to satisfy my curiosity, I ran some reports to find out. It turns out that the library we borrowed from most in 2007 was KU, who sent us 989 loans. But, as is only fair, the library that requested the most from us was also KU (Not even the biggest libraries can own every single item that a user will want, so borrowing and lending between library collections really lets users everywhere have a good chance of using the materials they need. Even Harvard borrowed 3 books from us in 2007).
So what other libraries did we borrow from, you ask? Our second largest lender was Wichita State, followed by other Kansas Regents libraries and large public libraries, as well as libraries in our consortium--the Greater Western Library Alliance, a group of 31 libraries in the Midwest and Western U.S.
Other libraries we borrowed from included large libraries like Harvard, MIT, UCLA, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. We also borrowed from special libraries, including military libraries like the US Army War College and the Air Force Academy, seminary libraries, government libraries, and law libraries. We borrowed from the Center for Research Libraries, which K-State Libraries is a member of. We even borrowed 3 items from the “other KSU”—Kent State.
As for going to the ends of the earth, we borrowed from the British Library, several libraries in Canada, a library in Germany and as I write, a user has a book checked out that came from the National Library of Australia. We have loaned our books to Canadian and Australian libraries, and right now have one on its way to Hong Kong. As they say, “It’s a small world,” and interlibrary loan is helping to make that true.