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July 20, 2023

In the past, fulfilling a single borrowing request would take days at the Manchester Metropolitan University Library in Manchester, England. The library would manually handle communication between its students and lending institutions. This caused many inefficiencies and frustration. “The process was very manual – involving emailing one potential lending library to the next before locating a suitable supplier. Our turnaround time averaged around three days,” explains Will Grady, Collection Services Librarian at MMU. 

Will reveals how the library cut its turnaround time by 70% while allowing unlimited borrowing. At first, it might sound incompatible. But the right tool can help create the ideal conditions for it to happen. RapidILL, an interlibrary loan automation system offered at a set annual fee, played a crucial role in the transformation. Grady comments: 

“RapidILL not only optimises staff time through its automated workflow, which speeds up how we process new borrower requests, but our users can now expect to receive the majority of their urgent research articles and chapters in 24 hours or less… [And] because we pay a set fee annually for RapidILL, we now have no limits on the number of articles and chapters our users can request.”

As part of its automation capabilities, RapidILL searches for the fastest way to fulfill requests and sends the titles in a few hours. Plus, the system works on the principle of “reciprocity.” Libraries join groups called pods and share titles without charging each other. 

Get introduced to a close-knit community of more than 600 sharing libraries, including one-third of all UK academic libraries. Read the full Manchester story.

About RapidILL by Ex Libris, part of Clarivate: 

RapidILL is an interlibrary loan automation system tailored for article and book chapter requests. With more than 600 members in the community, libraries fulfill 95% of their requests, in 10 hours on average. 


What’s the difference between RapidILL and Rapido? 

Ex Libris unifies its resource sharing community under Rapido. Rapido offers the automation capabilities of RapidILL, while making it easier for patrons to borrow titles. 

  • Gain time and budget back to invest in your library. Rapido integrates the RapidILL technology with your integrated library system (ILS) and connects you to libraries worldwide. It automatically processes interlibrary loan requests from patrons. 
  • Give more independence to your users. They can borrow physical and digital titles on the library’s interface in two clicks. Rapido gets rid of the interlibrary loan forms. 

Is Rapido the right fit for your library? Watch the video. 

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