When the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading worldwide, nearly 400,000 physical items were on loan to 5,674 libraries via the WorldShare ILL network. As libraries begin to reopen, ILL professionals need to know if, and when, to send items back to their home library. If items are mailed to libraries that are not open and not able to receive them, there is a high probability they will be lost or damaged, or libraries will incur additional fees because items are undeliverable.
At the request of the ILL community, and to support this urgent need, OCLC is providing an easy way for libraries to register and maintain their status, as well as view the status of other libraries. The Physical ILL Return and Lending Status Map contains two data points for each library:
- Is my library or mailroom accepting physical ILL returns?
- Is my library lending physical items via ILL?