Week 4: Learn about your local public library’s inter-library loan (ILL) policy. Pick a genealogy-related book that you want to read that is not in your library’s collection. Ask the librarian how to request the book from another library. Find the different library systems from which you can request books through your own library, as this can dramatically increase the number of genealogy books to which you have access. If you have a genealogy blog, write about your experience with requesting items through your library’s ILL service.
Here it is Saturday afternoon at roughly 5 p.m., one hour before the library closes for the weekend … and, once again, I didn’t have a chance to get to the library this week to look for a book I really wanted, much less a book that my library didn’t have that I would have to wait to get.
Undaunted, I checked the website for the library and found a form to fill out for an Interlibrary Loan.  Turns out my library requires that the requestor be a “patron in good standing,” require the complete citation of the material you request, and they charge for this service.  “Do not use this service if you cannot pay at least $6.00 for shipping.”  The form does have a space for the maximum amount a person is willing to pay, so I guess that’s good. 
I expected the ILL service to take some time, but I never realized it could take several weeks!  A person gets notified by phone and via a postcard sent by snail-mail that their materials are available.
I will definitely revisit this service when there is something I seriously need from another library.

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy is a 2010 series of weekly blogging prompts that are a bit more challenging and are geared towards those new to the field of genealogy and family history as well as those who want to brush up on some skills which might be a bit rusty.  Thanks to Amy Coffin at We Tree Genealogy Blog and Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers for putting this together!

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