Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Copy: ILL

Note: I have not struggled with copy for any of the pages I've done thus far the way I've struggled with this one. I'm not sure how much I should do; what's too much; or how I should structure the content. Ultimately, I think a self-guided tutorial would be best on this page, but as I am not as adept as Karen N. at creating such things, I have relied on images. Sorry. My ideal for this page: a link that takes those familiar with the system straight to the login screen, and then a link for a self-guided tutorial that walks them through the process of creating an account, as well as a tutorial for requesting material. Barring that, I have produced this. Sorry about the images. I've had to shrink the pictures to fit in the parameters of the blog page. Just do a right-click "View Image" and the full shot will be available. PLEASE ADVISE. CRITICISM WELCOME.

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Ever wondered how you might obtain access to a resource the ULM Library can’t provide? Maybe there’s a book your professor has recommended you read, or a classmate has directed you to an article that would be perfect for your research paper…but the Library doesn’t have the book or a subscription to the journal? Don’t worry – we can still help, through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service!

ILL is a free service provided by the ULM Library whereby we borrow materials you need from libraries that have them. All you have to have is the citation information for the material you need – author, title, that kind of stuff. You don’t have to know which libraries have copies of what you need – we handle that part. You just have to make the request – and to make a request, you have to have an account. One warning, though: ILL is NOT instant. It can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks to get your materials. If you need something tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow, ILL is not for you.

Now, to set up an account! You will click on this icon [insert some crafty image Karen N. can concoct] to access ILL. Since you don’t have an account, you can’t login. You will click where it says “First Time Users”:

You’re going to get a page that provides information about your username and password, legal notices (we aren’t going to break copyright law), and will provide a link to the ILL Frequently Asked Questions. Please take the time to read all that information – it will help you understand how the process works and what our limitations are, so you don’t ask us for something we can’t do (like photocopy a whole book).

Once you’ve read all that info, you will scroll to the bottom of the page and click the button that says “First Time Users Click Here”:

This button will take you to the form you need to fill out in order to create an account. If a field says required, you have to fill it out, but it makes our lives a lot easier if you fill out everything; it also helps us get your materials to you faster (for example, you could get an article in two days instead of four days). Here’s what the first part looks like, with a few added tips, so you understand what we’re asking you to provide.

The second part of the form asks for additional information; more importantly, though, it allows you to create your ILL account. Remember: YOU make up your username and password. They can be whatever you want them to be.

Now your account is created! You can request all kinds of materials – books, articles, theses, dissertations, reports, chapters from books, and more! Remember, you don’t have to know EVERYTHING about an item you want, but the more you know, the faster we can obtain it. If you need further assistance with ILL, don’t hesitate to ask at the Reference Desk, or in the Interlibrary Loan Office, which is on the first floor on your right as you enter the Library. The ILL Librarian, Melinda Matthews, will be glad to help you. She can be reached at matthews@ulm.edu or by phone at (318) 342-1067.

Edited, 08.21.08, 9:36am: I have added text regarding the non-instant nature of ILL, and corrected the two typos Maren caught. Thanks, Maren!


Maren said...

I think that looks pretty complete. We might want to mention that ILL is not instant? :) I know you said something about "the more info we have, the faster we can get it for you," but maybe it should be explicitly stated that no, we cannot get the source you need in time for your paper that's due in two days.

Also, a couple of typos: "If a field says required, you have to fill [it?] out" and "The second part of the form asks for addition[al] information."

Karen N. said...

(oh, you flatter me... my upcoming pages aren't looking so hot, I think)

I think your page is rather good because it's a text version of the same spiel we all give. Normally I would say "not so many words," but in this case it's necessary because no one really has any clue about ILL or ILLIAD most of the time.

Megan Lowe said...

Thanks, Maren! I'll fix those soon. And, yes, that's a good point, about it not being instant. I'll add that, too.