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Interlibrary loan

Originally published in the Ketchikan Daily News, June 2010; written by Tammy Dinsmore


One of my jobs at the Ketchikan Public Library is Interlibrary Loan. Through an online database, of which we are a member, I fill requests from other libraries throughout the U.S. and Canada for library materials and for a small ($3.00) fee I will search for and request material not found in our library catalog for you, our patrons. Some requests are for pleasure reading and others for research.


I am fascinated by the items that you, our patrons, and other library’s patrons have requested.


In the past few months other libraries from around the United States have borrowed a variety of things including a DVD featuring 2 silent films from Sweden. The titles of the films are “A Man There Was”, a story set during the Napoleonic Wars about a fisherman trying to break through a British blockade to feed his starving family, and “Ingeborg Holm”, a young widow who is sent to a workhouse and whose children are taken away.


Our automotive manuals are always popular as are many of our cookbooks.

We’ve had many requests for manuals of all kinds. “How to start a tour guiding business: a “how-to" manual for the thousands of people who want to discover the world of travel as a career” by G. E. (Gerald E.) Mitchell has been loaned to 2 different libraries in just the past 6 months. Master the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) by Scott A. Ostrow has also been a popular request.


We have had many requests for books about Alaskan history, Alaskan Native culture, and travel guides about Alaska from libraries in the lower 48.


A timely book, “Splashing by the shore : beach activities for kids” was loaned recently to another Alaska library and coincides with the summer reading program, “Dive into Reading” for readers through the 8th grade, “Make a Splash” for the read-to-me group & “Make Waves @ the Library” for teens ages 13-19, going on at our library and many other libraries throughout the state.


Our librarians try very hard to make sure you have what you want or need here, but when we don’t have that missing book in the romance, science fiction, fantasy, or mystery series that you are looking for or the thesis you need for your research, we may be able to find it for you through our Interlibrary Loan program.


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