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Imperial College London, UCL, and the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester, and St Andrews will share resources with other UK libraries through the RapidILL system

LONDON, UK, October 27, 2020 – Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is pleased to announce that five prominent UK universities—Imperial College London, UCL, the University of Liverpool, the University of Manchester, and the University of St Andrews—have decided to join the growing RapidILL community in the United Kingdom, giving their library users quick and easy access to materials via the cloud-based Ex Libris RapidILL™ interlibrary loan system. After integrating the system into their library workflows, the universities will benefit from the delivery of requested resources within 24 hours, thus providing patrons with maximum resource accessibility.

Acquired by Ex Libris in 2019, the RapidILL interlibrary loan system was designed by librarians, for librarians, and is compatible with any integrated library system. Participating libraries are organized into groups called pods, which support peer-to-peer and consortial resource sharing. The mission of this collaborative, community-oriented system is to improve service to library users, save staff time, and leverage institutional collections, all without causing cost increases. Libraries can offer a fast, unlimited delivery service with no transaction fees.

The RapidILL system provides a quick turnaround time from the receipt of a request to its delivery. Smart, dynamic requests take into consideration load leveling, library holdings, and time zones. Given the restrictions related to COVID-19 and the impact of budget limitations, resource sharing has become essential to library services, expediting access to collections and exposing materials that the requesting library does not own.

Katherine Rose, Head of Content and Discovery at Imperial College London, commented, “At Imperial we’ve found RapidILL an extremely valuable resource during lockdown, as we have been able to borrow easily from other universities around the world. From our experience so far, the system seems to save us both time and money. We’re excited to be joining other UK universities in this collaborative community and are looking forward to using RapidILL with more UK universities for easy peer-to-peer lending and borrowing.”

UCL’s Head of Customer Service Peter Dennison said, “RapidILL has revolutionized our ability to supply materials to our users during this period of pandemic-related challenges. Our Interlending team has been delighted with the responsiveness of the system, which is rapidly delivering materials required by our users, who include UK National Health Service staff carrying out vital research into COVID-19.”

“The adoption of RapidILL has been transformative for the University of Liverpool,” explained Acquisitions and Document Delivery Manager Dr. Rachel Schulkins. “Because the system requires less staff intervention than conventional approaches to interlibrary loans, we have been able to lift limitations on the availability of the service—limitations that were originally designed to reduce workloads and minimize expenses. Even more crucially, the time that an interlibrary loan takes to reach a user has now dropped to just over 12 hours, and this figure will improve as other UK libraries join the system.”

The University of Manchester’s Inter-Library Loans Team Leader Claire Hordern said, “The University of Manchester Library is really pleased to have joined the RapidILL community. We found the RapidILL system an invaluable tool during lockdown; as the name suggests, it really is fast and has helped us immensely when delivering articles to our readers. We are looking forward to working with fellow UK university libraries that have joined up.”

“We couldn’t have adopted RapidILL at a better time,” remarked Senior Manager (Core Collections and Digitization) Helen Faulds at the University of St Andrews. “It has proved a great lockdown resource, and we have been delighted to see that it lives up to its name. Like all libraries, ours has been extremely busy preparing for the new semester. To have such an efficient, uncluttered, and easy-to-use interface, both for uploading requests and for downloading files, has been a real benefit and a most welcome addition to our interlibrary loan service. We’re very pleased to be part of the RapidILL community.”

Ofer Mosseri, corporate vice president and general manager of Ex Libris for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, said, “We are delighted to welcome Imperial College London, UCL, and the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester, and St Andrews to the RapidILL community. The libraries’ interlibrary loan staff will now be able to process requests quickly, and patrons will have their requests fulfilled quickly—a win-win situation in which both sides benefit.”

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a world top ten university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial is committed to developing the next generation of researchers, scientists and academics through collaboration across disciplines. Located in the heart of London, Imperial is a multidisciplinary space for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle global challenges.

About UCL

Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 13,000 staff and 42,000 students from 150 different countries. Our distinctive approach to research, education, and innovation seeks to further inspire our community of staff, students, and partners to transform how the world is understood, how knowledge is created and shared, and the way in which global problems are solved.

About the University of Liverpool

For 10 years, the University of Liverpool has built upon its strengths to become a world leader in research and impact activities, with more highly ranked research disciplines and leaders than ever before carrying out research that genuinely changes lives for the better.

The University of Liverpool is a truly global institution—in its outlook, influence, impact, and activity. It is at the forefront of research, scholarship, and knowledge leadership and will be among the top 100 universities in the world.

About the University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and one of the UK’s largest single-site universities. We have over 40,000 students, 12,000 staff and, with almost 480,000 former students from more than 190 countries, are home to the largest community of alumni of any campus-based university in the UK. No fewer than 25 Nobel laureates have either worked or studied here.

We are the top UK University for graduate employability according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide; ranked 27th in the world in the QS World University Rankings (2020) and 6th in the UK. We’re also listed as 8th in Reuters Top 100: Europe's Most Innovative Universities (2019).

Visit www.manchester.ac.uk for further information or https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/vision/ for our latest strategic vision.

About the University of St Andrews

Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English-speaking world. Teaching began in the community of St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland in 1410, and the University was formally constituted by the issue of a papal bull in 1413. The University of St Andrews is one of Europe’s most research-intensive seats of learning; over a quarter of its turnover comes from research grants and contracts. It is one of the top-rated universities in Europe for research, teaching quality, and student satisfaction and is consistently ranked among the UK’s top five in leading independent league tables. The University is the highest ranking Scottish university in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. The 2020 Guardian University Guide ranked the University as top in Scotland and second in the UK. The University of St Andrews is also top in the UK for student academic experience according to the National Student Survey 2020.

About Ex Libris

Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is a leading global provider of cloud-based solutions that enable institutions and their individual users to create, manage, and share knowledge. In close collaboration with its customers and the broader community, Ex Libris develops creative solutions that increase library productivity, maximize the impact of research activities, enhance teaching and learning, and drive student mobile engagement. Ex Libris serves over 7,500 customers in 90 countries. For more information about Ex Libris, see our website, and join us on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

About ProQuest (https://about.proquest.com)

ProQuest is committed to supporting the important work happening in the world’s research and learning communities. The company curates content that matters to the advancement of knowledge, assembling an archive of billions of vetted, indexed documents. It simplifies workflows so that people and institutions use time effectively. And because ProQuest connects information communities, complex networks of systems and processes work together efficiently. With ProQuest, finding answers and deriving insights is straightforward and leads to extraordinary outcomes.

ProQuest and its companies and affiliates – Ex Libris, Alexander Street, Bowker – stand for better research, better learning, better insights. ProQuest enables people to change their world.

27 October 2020


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