I’m sorry that this is so tardy!  As coordinator of the interlibrary loan service at my library, this was something that was really of interest to me.  I have to share some of the statistics from the meeting.  There are 100 fewer libraries than last year (what a sad commentary of the state of the economy and/or the value place on libraries and staffing).  There has been a 42% decline in requests since 2002, which was the highest point.  New England Journal of Medicine is the most widely held and most widely requested title.

We covered some of the features of version 4.5 which came out in August 2010.  One of the new features was the option to fill from physical format, which is mostly for epub ahead of print or if print and online versions are different.  We also heard about the contact library button on the status page that will allow users to send email to the contact listed.  Here we got a plea to please update our contact information!  Docline 4.6 will come out this summer and will cover Loansome Doc transfers, a new resubmit option, minor fixes, and internal issues.

The next point was absolutely critical for me and probably all Docline libraries!  The “national maximum” limit was removed with the new contract for the resource libraries.  So, while the RML maximum cost used to be limited to no more than $11, these libraries are now able to charge what they want.  You could almost see the shock about this.  There were several questions about this, its publicity, and the projected effects.  I know that I will be reconsidering some of the options on my routing tables when I return to the office.

We also heard information about the National Print Retention Initiative.  So far, 250 titles have been identified from the Abridged Index Medicus.  There will be 13 copies kept (one from each region plus NLM), and the period of commitment is 25 years.  Libraries would use Docline to record the commitment–there is an option for national commitment in the serials holding records.  There will be an NLM task force to make recommendations, and there will be a NLM/RML educational campaign.

The enhancements under consideration include OCLC to Docline bath uploads and importing ejournal licensing data into Docline.  Both of which are currently manual transfers and sounded cumbersome to me!

NLM wants to know about the needs of individual libraries and resource sharing in the network.  Libraries should anticipate a survey on this.  We were recommended to have an active relationship, as libraries, with the RML.

In the question and answer period, there were a few things that I learned that I should share.  Routing data does not look at max cost.  Also if an item is retired for cost it kills the request.  Both of these rules are predicated on libraries structuring their routing tables from free to low to medium to high costs.  We also found out that there is a do not route list that can be implemented.

One of the final questions and its answer, I think will be reassuring to all libraries.  The question, and I’m paraphrasing, was in light of that morning’s NLM update and the phasing out of NLM Gateway, what was the future of Docline?  We were assured that there is no talk of killing Docline!  I know that was a relief for me; I had not considered this, but it was a logical question.  Long live Docline!