North Carolina Libraries, Vol 70, No 1 (2012)

Unthinkable Horror or Emerging Best Practice? Exploring Access to Special Collection Materials through Interlibrary Loan

C William Gee, L.K. Gypsye Legge


This article explores the question of increasing access to restricted access collections through interlibrary loan. Surveys sent to 15 member institutions of the University of North Carolina system measured current activity levels, special collection/interlibrary loan cooperation, and willingness to expand services in this manner. Mission statements from throughout the UNC system were reviewed and found to frequently contain content supporting widespread access. Known practices are described and potential models for change are suggested and critiqued. The authors conclude that for such practices to become widespread will likely require a concerted effort by administrators, practitioners, professional associations, and researchers.

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North Carolina Libraries is the official publication of the North Carolina Library Association.