Factors and characteristics of interlibrary loan use and non-use

Lynne Porat, Sara Fine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The aim of this study is to investigate whether there are differences between users and non-users of ILDS and whether users of ILDS perceive certain factors as contributing to satisfactory ILDS outcomes.Design methodology approach - The study employed survey research in the form of a specially-compiled web questionnaire which was distributed by e-mail to a sample of faculty and doctoral students at two Israeli research institutions.Findings - One of the main findings was that an ILDS user is a senior, productive, humanities, faculty member - someone who frequently uses the library's services and resources, has a deep style of information-seeking. An additional finding was that many non-users of ILDS believed that all their research needs were met by the internet. The other main finding was that ILDS users who perceived the consulting of secondary information sources and receiving reference assistance prior to requesting ILDS as being beneficial, achieved satisfactory ILDS outcomes which exceeded their expectations and which were ultimately integrated into their research.Practical implications - The findings contribute to librarians' understanding of users and non-users of ILDS and may enable them to identify and encourage potential ILDS users and find ways to promote satisfactory ILDS outcomes. Future research could study whether users of ILDS actually produce better quality research than non-users.Originality value - The research shows that ILDS users have a deep style of information-seeking and uncovers the reasons for non-use of ILDS. In addition, it confirms Stone's (1983) finding that secondary information sources promote patron satisfaction with ILDS outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalInformation Discovery and Delivery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Academic libraries
  • Access to information
  • Borrowing
  • Collection development
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Discovery tools
  • Document delivery
  • Document dissemination and delivery
  • Electronic periodicals
  • End users
  • Exact sciences and technology
  • Graduate students
  • Information and communication sciences
  • Information dissemination (open archives open access...) and document delivery
  • Information publishing dissemination and reproduction
  • Information research
  • Information retrieval
  • Information science. Documentation
  • Interlending
  • Interlibrary loans
  • Internet
  • Library and information science. General aspects
  • Library collections
  • Library science
  • Library users
  • Quality of service
  • Sciences and techniques of general use
  • Studies
  • University research
  • Use and user studies. Information needs


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