This week I found the joys of Inter-Library Loan. I am currently in three classes that are all pushing academic research –My German capstone paper, my Shakespeare class (where I am writing a research blog), and my English class where I will write a paper by the end of the semester. This week, as I perused BYU Library’s catalog looking for sources that I can use as I research and write, I came across a few articles that sounded very interesting and very topical, with regard to my interests. But, alas, I could not find the full-text of these articles online (Google Scholar failed me, yet again). But, then I thought I’d try something that I had heard of and tried only once — Inter-Library Loan.
I have used it before, once, a few years ago, but that wasn’t a particularly great experience. Maybe it was my own ignorance, but the book I requested was not really what I was looking for, it took a week to get here and wasn’t really helpful.
This time, though, I was not looking for a book, but an article or two. So I called up the Inter-Library Loan request page, entered the information, and submitted.
Here’s where I am impressed: The next day I got an email with a link to a digital file of these articles, in PDF form. Amazing. I can now download these, keep them, print them out, mark them up, whatever. These articles that I could not get in any other way, arrived in my inbox a day after I requested them.
This is an invaluable resource for scholars, for people looking for access to documents that they can get in no other way. I will definitely be utilizing this in the future.