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Electronic Resources


Due to licensing constraints, libraries are seldom able to lend extracts from electronic resources to users of other libraries.

In 2010 and 2012, the Conarls Working Group, FIL and NWLIP conducted surveys of library policies to gain an understanding of the particular issues electronic materials present in fulfilling inter library loan requests, and the solutions already in place to overcome these issues. As the balance of journal subscriptions in libraries shifts away from print copies and towards e-journals, such policies are of increasing relevance.

The results of the surveys have been published on the FIL website.

Walk-in access 

The licences for some electronic resources do permit libraries to offer walk-in access to non-members. Whether the libraries actually offer this is a matter of local policy.

SWRLS maintains a directory of institutions in the South West that offer walk-in access to electronic resources. LIEM maintains similar information for East Midlands institutions.

Eduserv negotiates licence agreements on behalf of all UK higher and further education institutions. It provides a directory of CHEST agreements which clearly states for each agreement whether interlibrary loans or walk-in access are permitted. Further resources are available from Jisc Collections under the Jisc Model Licences, which do permit walk-in access.

Several higher and further education bodies have been active in investigating the possibilities for and practice of walk-in access.

In June 2012, the SCURL Walk In Access Project delivered its final report, describing best practice for Scottish higher education libraries and an associated toolkit.

In March 2013, the Walk In Access Wales Project delivered its Toolkit, being a guide to implementing walk-in access services in Welsh higher education institutions.

In June 2013, SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) released the report of the WATER Project (Walk-In Access to Electronic Resources), in association with the M25 Consortium. The report makes the case for walk-in access, provides numerous case studies of higher education institutions that have implemented it, and offers guidance to help other institutions do likewise.

Last Modified: 19 Feb 2014