In 2013 the University of Wollongong (UOW) Library completed a review of its Resource Sharing services in order to provide a financially viable service relevant to the research support needs of University clients. This paper provides an update of the service two years on.
UOW Library has been attentive to global changes in the resource sharing industry and document supply services. Unmediated resource sharing options are growing and assuming an increasing portion of requests received from clients. UOW’s involvement in new services has focused attention on the value of its collection, particularly the last national copy of a publication. By ensuring these unique titles remain in the collection indefinitely, they can be shared with other libraries through resource sharing arrangements. Ensuring staff workplace health and safety during the ongoing transformation in the delivery of services is an important element in the continued viability of resource sharing at UOW.
The 2011-2013 review of UOW Library Resource Sharing services has resulted in a viable and relevant service that is adaptable to the changing needs of UOW clients and institutional directions into the near future. Unmediated requesting continues to assume a greater share of the requesting workload, though staff expertise is equally important in supporting this service. A future challenge for UOW Library is the rising cost of postage for the sharing of loans across institutions.
This case study demonstrates how an academic library can transform its resource sharing service for ongoing relevance and cost-effectiveness. Taking a holistic view of the service, in terms of people, costs and services is important to ensure the overall viability of the service.