June 30, 2010

Sign o' the Times - A Total Bummer

Michigan has a statewide inter-library loan service known as MelCat. From it, a researcher can easily get library books held in other Michigan libraries that are not in the collections of his/her home library. It's a very smooth and efficient system, as long as what you're looking for is available for lending in a Michigan library.

For really obscure stuff, such as dissertations, that even though available to the public may be found in only one or two other institutions, the researcher had to rely on the traditional inter-library loan system. Just last night I contacted my home library and requested a dissertation from Northern Illinois Univ. that I had confirmed beforehand was available for loan.

Well, I've just been informed that as of July 1, that traditional ILL service to out-of-state institutions has been stopped in all public county libraries, "due to budgetary restrictions." The only advice was to get a card from a local college or university, which I've done in the past. Nevertheless, this was another indication of the times we live in....

At least my local library is still open, which is hardly the case all across the Wolverine State. Cie la vie.

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