- Product: Alma
What is the difference between Peer-to-Peer Resource Sharing, Broker-based Resource Sharing, Fulfillment Networks, and Automated Fulfillment Networks?
Alma supports 4 general methods of requesting and transferring materials between institutions (interlibrary loan). Here is a brief summary of what distinguishes them:
Peer-to-Peer Resource Sharing
- The patron requests a resource from their home institution.
- Requests are done at the title level.
- At the borrowing institution, Alma can be configured to automatically find the resource at another institution and then place the request.
- The lending institution supplies the item and lending policies are defined by each institution and negotiated for shared items.
- Circulation is done at the borrowing institution.
Broker-based Resource Sharing
- The borrowing institution's library staff requests resources from a third party broker on behalf of a patron; the broker will choose the lender. Some institutions allow patrons to directly request resources from the broker. (Examples of brokers: ILLiad, OCLC, Relais)
- This method is used to request materials from institutions that do not use Alma.
- A Fulfillment Network is a group of Alma institutions that agree in advance to allow resource sharing amongst each other.
- Inventory at one institution is searchable by patrons of all Fulfillment Network member institutions, and patrons of one institution can directly request resources from another institution. Because of this, institutions in a Fulfillment Network must agree to share patron data with each other.
- Lending policies are defined by the lending institution and patrons can request specific items from a specific institution. A patron can pick up and return items to any institution in the network and can use any institution in the network as if it was their home institution.
Automated Fulfillment Networks (AFN)
- Combines elements of Fulfillment Networks and Peer-to-Peer Resource Sharing.
Peer-to-Peer and Broker-based Resource Sharing are separate processes outside of the rest of Fulfillment. They have no effect on the loan itself. A secondary “language” needs to be utilized between the borrower and lender/broker (ISO messages for Peer-to-Peer, NCIP messages for broker). In contrast, resource sharing through Fulfillment Networks is integrated into the rest of the fulfillment infrastructure. No extra communication is required between the borrower/lender.
- Article last edited: 10-May-2021