Update on the Trans-Tasman arrangement, VDX and LADD

There have been a number of changes in the international resource sharing landscape that also affect resource sharing in Australia.

I would like to update Libraries Australia members about the activities and relationships delivered via the Libraries Australia service, and outline what Libraries Australia is doing to support and safeguard a sustainable national resource sharing service. These relate to the Trans-Tasman arrangement, the future of VDX, and recent activities to develop the roadmap for Libraries Australia Document Delivery (LADD) services.

Trans-Tasman arrangement

The National Library of Australia and National Library of New Zealand established the Trans-Tasman Interlending Agreement in 2006 to enable both sides of the Tasman to seamlessly request from and supply library resources to one another. As both libraries were using the same VDX platform for their services, it was seen as an opportunity to collaborate to provide significant benefits on both sides of the Tasman. The LADD Gateway—a service provided by Libraries Australia—allows LADD members to interoperate with other ISO ILL Australian and New Zealand libraries.

In May 2016, the National Library of New Zealand’s Te Puna Services moved from an internally hosted VDX service to WMS - a cloud-based service hosted by OCLC. From the Libraries Australia perspective, the migration of Te Puna to WMS interrupted the interoperability between Libraries Australia and Te Puna, and subsequently changed the services offered between the libraries. The change in platform affected the Te Puna targets in a number of our systems including Libraries Australia Search, Cataloguing, and z39.50 data exchange, as well as significant changes to interoperability with Libraries Australia Document Delivery.

A number of updates (NLNZ changes to Te Puna—What this means for Libraries Australia update #1,  update #2, update #3) were provided to members last year on the changes implemented and what was still required to re-establish the Trans-Tasman arrangement. Since then, Libraries Australia has been advocating for a holistic solution to fix the regional connection for all members interoperating with the LADD service.

We can advise now that NLNZ have implemented a new ‘Te Puna - WorldCat - NZ1’ bib search profile into their Te Puna Interloan service to search Te Puna in Worldcat so that only Te Puna holdings are returned.  This solution still needs to be tested in the Australian environment, including whether it will address the wider issues for the ISO ILL libraries interoperating with LADD.

More information regarding this will be provided to members as developments progress.

VDX and the LADD service

Following OCLC’s announcement that it had acquired Relais in January 2017, Libraries Australia staff joined colleagues from the National Library of New Zealand to participate in an OCLC ILL Futures workshop in Melbourne on 21-22 February 2017.  With colleagues from the Te Puna service at NLNZ and OCLC ILL specialists, the meeting explored a potential roadmap for ILL services and OCLC provided information on the expanded suite of OCLC ILL products and services: VDX, WorldShare ILL, Relais (acquired in January), and Tipasa (launched in January).

The VDX software underpinning the Libraries Australia Document Delivery (LADD) service has not been enhanced for some years.  We know that VDX will not be further developed by OCLC and will not incorporate the new ISO ILL 18626 standard.  Therefore, Libraries Australia needs to plan for a LADD service post-VDX, and we are now in a process of discovery and action planning to determine interlibrary loan product functionality requirements and our statement of requirements for the national service, as well as explore possible solutions and migration expectations.  OCLC have advised that they will continue to support the VDX software as long as it is needed.

Following the February 2017 workshop, Libraries Australia has been meeting regularly with Te Puna colleagues to progress resource sharing in the region: to share information, identify areas of commonality, strengthen the Trans-Tasman regional network, and contribute to leading solutions to this global issue.  A paper on recent Trans-Tasman developments will be delivered at the forthcoming IFLA conference in Wrocław, Poland.   Further discussions have also been held with OCLC in which they have acknowledged that there are many factors influencing these discussions, including the importance of the Trans-Tasman arrangement and need for interoperability across solutions.

It is important to note that there will be no push to a new ILL solution until there has been agreement on the appropriate services and migration timelines.

In the next few months, Libraries Australia will establish an expert advisory group to support the roadmap process and inform the future of the LADD service.  Libraries Australia members will be consulted as we develop the roadmap to ensure the needs of members continue to be met in the global resource sharing environment.

Next steps: connect and influence

More generally, the resource sharing marketplace is evolving and libraries have more choices to support access to information for their local users—eg Patron Driven Acquisition, digitisation on demand, and commercial suppliers of material hitherto supplied via ILL channels.  In some ways the resource sharing marketplace is expanding, while some aspects of access to information are contracting.  Libraries Australia is aware that libraries are operating in a hybrid environment utilising a range of supply and delivery options, as well as utilising national resource sharing infrastructure to source material for their local users.

Libraries Australia is committed to providing and supporting a national resource sharing service such as Libraries Australia Document Delivery (LADD) for as long as Libraries Australia members need the service.

There are a number of ways you can learn more and contribute to the future of national resource sharing:

  • respond to the recent call for expressions of interest to be part of the ALIA ILL Advisory Committee and turn in to the work of the committee. This committee is responsible for providing advice to ALIA on ILL/DD matters including the review of the ILRS code. Please send a brief bio and expression of interest to Margarita Moreno, Chair of the Committee mmoreno@nla.gov.au, by Wednesday, 26 July.
  • join the Expert Advisory Group to help map the future of the LADD service—a call for expressions of interest will be issued in late August 2017
  • participate in the Libraries Australia survey of members to learn more about your requirements and experience, and to review the current and future practices of Libraries Australia. Survey expected to be launched in September.
  • tune in to more information from Libraries Australia events that relate to resource sharing—events to be announced. Last year’s Summer Sessions featured the Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative, and an update from the British Library on Demand service.
  • sign up to the Libraries Australia Document Delivery email lists: ISO-ILL and LA Doc Del. These lists provide current information about libraries interacting with the LADD service, and are the primary channel for communication to Libraries Australia members about developments and changes in resource sharing.

The Libraries Australia team looks forward to working with our members across the country to prepare for the future.

Please contact Nikki Darby (Assistant Director, Libraries Australia Member Services) nikki.darby@nla.gov.au with any questions, comments, or interest in resource sharing futures.


Monika Szunejko AALIA | Director, Libraries Australia | National Library of Australia