23 December 2010

Holiday Backlog: Getting Articles Quicker

The time of year has come where there seems to be an increase in darkened departments despite your own burning of a two-sided candle.  The situation:  You're working the holidays (happily of course!) and you need some information. If you've been reading this blog you also know that the Library is the be all and end all for information, and so you decide to phone, email or scout them out only to be met with an out-of-office holiday reply and a darkened room.  Of course not all Library staff are lucky enough to get away for the holidays (in fact most of them that I know remain open for the season minus a day or two); nevertheless, it's worthwhile to see if your Library is a Loansome Doc provider. 

The traditional article ordering process you're used to likely includes sending your requests into Library staff and waiting until it is processed, ordered, filled and returned.  The problem arises when that library is well-used and under-staffed (as is all too often the case) causing a long wait time or perhaps when you have sun-seeking, holiday-taking Librarians (*gasp*), leaving you without a way to order articles.

What is Loansome Doc?  
It's a program developed by the National Library of Medicine (those guys are always coming up with great things!) that requires a one-time sign up that allows you to request articles not subscribed to via your own library straight from PubMed. Once you sign up ordering articles is as easy as choosing the items you want from your PubMed search and selecting 'Order' from the top 'Send To' button.  The bottom line:  You get your articles faster by bypassing some of the extra administration of the traditional process. 

Talk to your Library staff about whether or not they are a Loansome Doc provider, how you can get set to avoid the holiday backlog, and how to use it year round to get your articles quickly!

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