EZBorrow and PALCI Shared Index

A Common Service for all PALCI Libraries

The EZBorrow Service has been the keystone service of the PALCI Consortium for more than 15 years.

It is an expedited interlibrary loan service that allows students, faculty, and staff at the participating institutions to discover, request, and borrow books and other physical library materials from 52 college and university member libraries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia.

delivery truck

A well-known, highly-regarded service, EZBorrow sends requests to lending libraries automatically without involving library staff. A shared set of E-ZBorrow Policies means libraries commit to an excellent level of service. The materials are then delivered to the home library of the requestor in 3-5 business days with fast shipping services provided through the Interlibrary Delivery Service of Pennsylvania. Academic libraries of all sizes count on EZBorrow to give its users easy-to-use access to PALCI members’ unique collections.

PALCI now uses the ReShare Returnables software to power the EZBorrow service. The ReShare platform provides PALCI libraries with a shared index of library holdings across the consortium, a shared discovery layer, and request management tools that route patron requests automatically to libraries with available items.

Using EZBorrow (Patron Experience)

This is a general overview of the process flow for the EZBorrow Service, from the patron’s request for an item to the process end when the items is checked back into the Lender Library’s integrated library system (ILS).

Please note: This process may vary slightly by institution and local ILS.

  • Patrons search the EZBorrow VuFind Discovery and request items that show as available for borrowing.
  • Requests are sent to the first lender in the string of lenders who have copies of the item available to lend.
  • The Lending Library prints “pull slips” for requests they received via their ReShare tenant.
  • The Lending Library pulls the items.
  • The items are updated via a ReShare web interface where they are also checked out in the Lending Library’s local ILS via NCIP protocols.
  • Items are shipped to the Borrowing Library via the Interlibrary Delivery Service (IDS) or another shipping carrier.
  • Items are updated to “received” status by the Borrowing Library via the web client.
    • The software places the item on hold for the patron so a check-in may be necessary to activate it.
    • Patrons are notified via email that the item he/she requested is available.
    • Items can be checked out for a total of 12 weeks to patrons.
  • Items are updated to “returned” status via the ReShare web interface and shipped back to the Lending Library via selected shipping carrier.
  • Items are updated to “complete” status by the Lending Library via the ReShare interface.
  • Then the software checks in the item in the local ILS.

Basecamp is where the EZBorrow Practitioners share information. Need access to Basecamp?

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EZBorrow logo
Participants at the EZB practitioners meeting at Dickinson College in 2019

EZB Practitioners Meeting

Decision to Join Project ReShare

October 26, 2018

The PALCI Board of Directors unanimously approved up to $100,000 in funding to Project ReShare – a new open-source, community-owned resource sharing solution.

This course of action was unanimously recommended by the PALCI Future of Resource Delivery Working Group (R&D), for PALCI Libraries to proceed with Project ReShare as our resource sharing software supporting the next generation of the E-ZBorrow Service with piloting and testing beginning in Fall 2019.

ReShare is community of consortia, libraries, vendors, software developers, service providers, and related organizations collaborating in support of a shared vision for a highly scalable library resource sharing platform and its accompanying interoperable software applications for 1) discovery, 2) management, and 3) fulfillment of unmediated interlibrary loan requests.

We are excited about Project ReShare’s open-ended, user first, modular design. Index Data, the project’s lead developer and peer member of the ReShare Community, has begun work on the core code with the system’s functional requirements heavily influenced by PALCI R&D’s work. We are also excited about working with an open-source community-owned option. This will allow libraries, consortia, developers, and vendors to leverage our strengths and collaborate in ways current arrangements do not allow.