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Interlibrary Loan: Training and Documentation

A guide to resource sharing activities and services at MLS and beyond.

ILL Listservs

Announcement Lists

Subscribe to our MLS-ILL list for important announcements and messages about mediated interlibrary loan services. The archive of previous announcements are available to view in case you've missed them at

Libraries in the the former Central, Southeastern, and Western Regions (formerly served by Thomas Crane/Quincy) can subscribe here

Libraries in the former Boston, Metrowest, Northeast Regions (formerly served by Wellesley Free Library) can subscribe here.

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Training Guides


Interlibrary Loan Community Chats

Laura Bogart and the rest of the Resource Sharing Team staff host fortnightly (every-other-week) Interlibrary Loan Community Chats. Each one is recorded, and you can find the recordings below. To join future Community Chats, please register at the ILL/Delivery section of our calendar. To find other exciting events hosted by MLS, go to To find recordings of webinars, please continue scrolling down.

  • Wednesday, February 2, 2022. Register now so you don't miss it!
  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022. Recording coming soon!
  • Wednesday, January 5, 2022 Timestamps and topics coming soon!
  • Wednesday, December 8, 2021 Timestamps and topics: 00:24 Zoom settings for the call; 06:15 Free tracking label stickers!; 11:28 finding recordings on our LibGuide; 14:30 How to do point-to-point loans; 21:00 how MLS is and isn't lending mediated ILLs while recovering from pandemic disruptions / Academics with their own OCLC symbol that show on our lending catalogs; 24:44 Wishing we could put holds on in use OCLC items; 31:25 Getting scans and PDFs; 37:45 finding our future ILL Community Chats and other exciting events hosted by MLS.
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2021. (hosted by Alison DeMers) Topics and timestamps: 00:00 Holiday postal delays; 01:40 midwinter closings of academic lenders; 03:20 holdings confusion; 07:00 our ILL LibGuide; 08:10 drama with motion sensor lights!; 08:20 finding ComCat info; 08:45 finding BPL Document Delivery info on our LibGuide; 09:25 (from text chat) "When making requests, how much information is helpful to put in the notes?" (feedback from text chat "If the patron has a specific edition (e.g. "3rd only no other edition will do") I have often added that to notes."); 14:10 (from text chat) "what are your general thoughts on Homebound patrons using ILL?" (one of the members expressed in text chat concern about chain of custody); 18:10 "Heavens to Betsy!" and claim returns.
  • Wednesday, November 17, 2021. (co-hosted with Delivery and eResources) Topics and timestamps: 1:20 Introductions; 2:45 navigating our LibGuide; 6:00 getting on our email lists; 14:40 Databases LibGuide; 18:30 Databases training and tutorials online events; 21:30 Databases Statistics; 28:50 What to do when mystery items show up in your Delivery; 32:25 Delivery Routes Index; 33:15 Delivery LibGuide; 35:00 Delivery Routing slips; 36:40 items in Delivery for a long time; 38:48 the future of interstate Delivery connections; 40:20 mail slowdowns and ILL lending times; 43:35 mail rates increase and holiday surcharges; 45:00 requesting and returning ILLs during the holiday season; 46:45 using the Interstate Delivery connection to send to Rhode Island
  • Wednesday, November 3, 2021Topics and timestamps: 2:45 How to turn on live closed captioning, find the chat box, and other Zoom instructions; 4:10 Icebreaker: How was your Halloween?; 7:00 Confusing holds; 11:00 Can we renew on ComCat?; 14:00 Contacting the ComCat help team; 21:30 Interstate Delivery with Rhode Island.
  • Wednesday, October 20, 2021. One on one with Boston Public Library! Hear all about what's been going on at BPL lately! Topics and timestamps: 0:45 Why BPL had an access outage; 2:15 Staffing at BPL; 2:25 Post Office issues; 4:40 Article requests and collection development; 7:30 ghosts and pneumatic tubes in the library.
  • Wednesday, October 5, 2021 recording was lost due to technical issues. Please view our other recordings!
  • Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Topics and timestamps: 2:16 Icebreaker: "What are your library's plans for Halloween?"; 13:35 Can you limit searches by country of the lenders?; 20:05 How much information should be sent to MLS on ILL requests?; 26:00 What do we do when ComCat doesn't know how to select a specific volume from graphic novels or other series?; 30:22 Why do some libraries use FirstSearch and others; 33:30 Why do some old, long-discarded, records get stuck showing as being owned on OCLC?; 37:00 Will lenders send entire issues of magazines? 
  • Wednesday, September 8, 2021.  Topics and timestamps: 1:30 ComCat hiccups; 4:35 Icebreaker: "What are you looking forward to this month?"; 11:35 WorldCat listings mixing up physical books and e-books; 19:30 Behind the scenes -- WorldShare searching features; 23:20 Behind the scenes -- what we see on our Clio updating account; 25:00 One-on-one trainings via Zoom.
  • Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Topics and timestamps: 2:15 Icebreaker: "If you had to live in any universe of a book, what book would you choose to live in?"; 8:30 ComCat error messages and contacting help; 12:15 How to request items when you use; 21:45 Free mailing for Matter-for-the-Blind; 23:15 Estimating mailing charges; 25:45 ComCat labels; 27:55 How much does limiting to free lenders restrict options?; 29:25 AllRegions and other useful MBLC email listservs; 34:00 ComCat glitches; 39:30 How to find and search our ILL guide for trainings; 42:40 A behind the scenes peak at how we find lenders for your requests; 48:45 "Lost" vs "Assumed Lost"
  • Wednesday, August 11, 2021Topics: ComCat or mediated ILL; MLS ILL facilitating point to point requests; MLS ILL when you can't select a volume on ComCat; If you could choose any books or book series that isn't already a movie or TV show and get it made into a movie or TV show, what would it be?
  • Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Topics: Getting ILL renewals when there's a shipping delay; Size of the OCLC lending pool; How many free lenders are on OCLC; What happens with the requests after submitted to OCLC?; Individual trainings over video chat with ILL staff; Requests that go to Boston Public Library rather than MLS ILL. (Note: I kept saying our chats are fortweekly because I couldn't remember fortnightly means every 14 days. Our Community Chats are every 14 days, not every 14 weeks)
  • Wednesday, July 14, 2021 (co-hosted with Delivery and eResources) Topics: Can a patron return a book at a different network/on a different Delivery route?; Delivery to Rhode Island; Items turning around in Delivery; Statewide ILS; Multiple volume records on ComCat; How to effectively slip Delivery items; MyHeritage remote access issues. 


Updating Clio, with Q&A

Receiving requests in Clio

Renewing and Returning in Clio

Contact us!

Resource Sharing Team (best method for email)
866-627-7228 select option #4

Laura Bogart, Resource Sharing Assistant x318

Kathryn Bowen, Resource Sharing Assistant x321

Vincent Nguyen, Resource Sharing Assistant x316

Alison DeMers, Resource Sharing Librarian x317

Scott Kehoe, Library Resources Director x308

Upcoming ILL Events

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