Networking a nation: ILL developments in Australia

Roxanne Missingham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This paper sets out to describe developments in Australian libraries and the national interlibrary loan and document delivery systems, in particular the outcomes of the Local Interlending and Document Delivery Administration Systems (LIDDAS) project. Australian libraries have had a highly cooperative approach to resource sharing for many years. ILL (Inter Library Loan) has become increasingly automated since the introduction of the online union catalogue in 1981 and the national interlending system in 1989. In 2004 interoperability was introduced, with 2006 developments in directories completing the national connected system. Design/methodology/approach - Analysis is undertaken of the factors leading to a national approach, use of the automated solution by libraries and trends in use by end users. Findings - Rapid and easy access to interlibrary lending has increased significantly through automation of local and national systems. While the overall number of loans and copies has not increased, the speed of delivery and efficiency of ILL has increased significantly. Practical implications - By understanding the environment that led to a coordinated approach to automation by libraries in a variety of sectors, and evaluating the outcomes of the technological developments, this paper gives a basis for considering opportunities for future cooperative arrangements. Originality/value - LIDDAS has stood the test of time as a highly original approach to providing access to the resources of the nation's libraries. This paper provides a study of the outcomes of the project, the impact of interlibrary lending in Australia and a cooperative approach between university, state, national and public libraries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-196
Number of pages9
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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