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A unified community of trust and support
built around a critical and clearly understood purpose
effective resource sharing.

The IDS Project History

The IDS Project was born out of the frustration of twelve New York State academic library directors who admitted to each other that there were only two choices for 21st century libraries: 1) to radically change the way they do business with each other or 2) to accept the fact that they would fail to meet the needs of current and future library users. The mission of the IDS Project is to advance the sharing of library resources through collaboration, innovation, and efficiency. The major goal of the Project is to continually implement and objectively evaluate innovative resource-sharing strategies, policies and procedures that will optimize mutual access to the information resources of all IDS Project libraries.

Developed and maintained at the State University of New York at Geneseo, the IDS Project is an openly-shared, multifaceted, resource-sharing management system that provides its members with a platform from which to efficiently and effectively maximize mutual, speedy access to each others’ holdings as well as to resources outside the system. Although OCLC’s ILLiad™ Interlibrary Loan (ILL) software provides the request management framework for the Project, the IDS Project is a collaborative librarian and staff effort to solve real problems. Based on a unified community of trust & support, IDS Project libraries abide by the maxim that “my library is your library and your library is my library.” Sharing best practices, the IDS Project has created a unique and nationally recognized innovative and high-performance resource sharing network that provides a high quality alternative to the high cost, commercially available systems.

While participation is voluntary, members commit to meeting contractual performance standards based on a user-centric definition of an interlibrary loan transaction as, “from the time the user places a request until the time the user is notified the loan is ready for pickup or the article is ready to be retrieved from the Web.” The standards for delivery are to complete article transactions within 48 hours and loans within 72 hours (excluding holidays and weekends). To date, the IDS Project has over 116 member academic, special, and public libraries including the New York State Library and the New York Public Library. Libraries and library consortia from several other states have expressed interest in one or more of the components of the IDS Project. The IDS Project is committed to providing improvements to the entire resource sharing community through the ongoing development and sharing of innovative tools and promotion of best practices.

KUDOS: The IDS Project received national recognition when it was named a 2008 Innovation Award winner by the Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative for "Creating a Highly-effective & Innovative Resource Sharing System."

KUDOS: Ed Rivenburgh, representing the IDS Project, was awarded the Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished Librarian Award by The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and the American Library Association (ALA) in June of 2011.

KUDOS: Regional User Groups: Winner of 2013 Rethinking Resource Sharing Innovation Award

KUDOS: Online Learning Institute: Winner of 2016 Rethinking Resource Sharing Innovation Award

KUDOS: IDS Logic: Winner of 2018 Rethinking Resource Sharing Innovation Award

Four Innovative Components of the IDS Project

1. The Workflow Toolkit 

The Workflow Toolkit is designed and updated regularly to help libraries adopt best practices to get the most out of ILLiad. It helps member libraries and potentially over 1,100 other ILLiad libraries by decreasing staff time spent processing requests and by increasing the efficiency of workflows in general. It can also save libraries money by reducing borrowing and lending costs as well as through better use of staff time, equipment, and supplies. It also serves users by improving turnaround times.

The Toolkit is organized by ILLiad workflows; Borrowing, Lending, and Document Delivery. Each Workflow section is broken down into the primary steps, and each step connects the user to the relevant documentation & tutorials and then lists the Workflow Tools that apply. This allows users to learn the basics and then implement the workflow tools they want to use. Updates to the Toolkit are syndicated, and users can easily find out when new tips are added or changed. The Toolkit is free for member or non-member library use.

2. IDS Logic

IDS Logic is a service that helps automate ILL workflows for libraries using ILLiad. IDS Logic creates a connection to a library's ILLiad database through a Server Addon, which communicates with the IDS Logic service. IDS Logic can help improve and automate ILL workflows by:

  • Performing automated actions on ILL requests based on complex criteria executed through server-based rules.
  • Sending automated notifications to patrons regarding ILL transactions.
  • Automating time consuming steps in ILL that require making decisions on information that is contained in the ILL transaction compared to ILL policies or settings.
  • Conducting automated searches of internal library services such as the catalog (via the Z39.50 server) with information contained in ILL transactions to automate time consuming steps such as looking up call numbers for book chapter or loan requests, or cancelling checked out items or items from restricted collections.
  • Sending information from ILL transactions to external APIs or web services and return information to help further automate ILL processing.

3. Article Gateway

Article Gateway is an article provider platform and decision configuration center. Depending on library preference, multiple sources and vendors can be integrated.

  • ISSNFixer – searches a local database then OCLC for correct ISSN
  • YearFixer – checks field for extra data, such as month, and sets the year properly (and month too!)
  • RuleofFive – checks number of requests in current year for the journal and determines if Copyright needs to be paid; moves requests out of Awaiting Copyright
  • PubMedChecker – searches for open access materials
  • POD/GINRPD – if RuleofFive has been met, determines best option for paying Copyright or purchasing article

4. Article License Information Availability Service (ALIAS)

ALIAS, now a part of IDS Logic, is able to construct a lender string and send article requests straight to OCLC. It frees up an average of 10 to 20 hours of processing time and decrease the turnaround time for article requests—especially since ALIAS is a unique system that promotes electronic over print holdings. ALIAS also performs load leveling, which is similar to a couple of commercially available systems that charge thousands per library for unmediated article requesting. Unlike any other system, ALIAS uses a generic licensing management system developed at SUNY Geneseo, now maintained by member libraries.