Interlibrary Loan

Every day is Christmas at the library. By that I mean, every day we get to open boxes of surprises. The boxes come to us each morning around eleven o’clock, and we never know just what we’ll find when we open them. Will there be best sellers? Celebrity biographies? Books of self-help or political scandal? Romance or mystery novels? Picture books for children? True crime? Cookbooks? The latest DVD series? Part of the fun in opening the boxes is discovering something new and unexpected – just like unwrapping gifts at Christmas.  The “gifts” these boxes bring are the books, DVDs, music, audiobooks and magazines that our library users have requested using our e-catalog.

It’s a simple process that brings these boxes to the library. Once you’ve placed a request or hold for a book, the request is automatically sent to a library in the SAILS network that owes the title. The owning library pulls the book from the shelf, enters the item bar code into the circulation software and places the item in one of the boxes to be picked up that day by the delivery van. The delivery van drops the boxes at a regional sorting facility to be automatically sorted using the item bar code number. Items intended for Raynham are sorted for Raynham, boxed and loaded back on the delivery van. Within a day or two we receive the item in Raynham, and a notice is automatically sent alerting the user that it’s ready to be picked-up at the library.

Every day dozens of small white vans are busy shuttling thousands of books and other library materials around the network. As part of the SAILS library network, we participate in resource sharing with 72 libraries and branches in 40 communities throughout Southeast Massachusetts, as well as libraries throughout the state. Every day we receive delivery of items that our users have requested as well as the items being returned to Raynham that we have loaned to other libraries. This amounts to quite a few items. This past year we loaned more than 15,000 items from our library to libraries in the SAILS network. We also borrowed almost 20,000 items from those libraries. This past year some 14 million items were shared across the state by the 600 libraries participating in the service. That’s a lot of boxes and a lot of books.

What does this mean for you? It means that you have access to anything that interests you. Simply request an item through our e-catalog, and we’ll notify you when it arrives in Raynham. Need help in getting started? We are always here to answer your questions.


Posted in Services

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