From Chicago to London: A Book’s Trans-Atlantic Journey

I was surprised, when I got the book from the librarian and saw some stamp saying “University of Chicago Library” on its title page. I knew I was using Inter-Library Loan (ILL) service, but I wasn’t expecting TRANS-ATLANTIC book loan!

The trans-Atlantic “traveller”

I’ve been using ILL several times because most of the resources relevant to my research happen to be in Chinese or Japanese and difficult to reach. The time it takes for the book to arrive vary according to which library King’s is borrowing from. It may take 2 weeks or so. I requested this book of Japanese Prime Minister’s interviews about a month ago, and apparently libraries in London or even the whole UK don’t hold it. I’m so happy I finally get access to it, because I was particularly interested in one of the articles and had spent much time (as well as much of my Japanese friend’s time) searching for its E-version before I resorted to ILL.

However, the book is reference only, which is inconvenient. And though it’s free service for me, King’s must have paid something (at least the international delivery cost). Maybe King’s library should consider purchasing a copy instead of borrowing one when the loan cost exceeds certain percentage of the book’s price.

Inter-Library Loan

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