What is the difference between Swisscovery Courier and the Interlibrary Loan service on Swisscovery?

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Depending on the nature of your request you may use one of these two services:

Swisscovery Courier is equivalent to an Interlibrary loan service but only within the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP), whilst an Interlibrary loan (ILL) request is for items you cannot borrow through Swisscovery Courier, or typically for ordering articles or book chapters. In both cases, remember to log on to your Swisscovery account first.

How to use Swisscovery Courier:

Please note that documents held in a Geneva library (UNIGE and City of Geneva) cannot be borrowed via the Swisscovery Courier service. Users must go directly to the library where the document is located to borrow it and return it.

  • Sign in on Swisscovery first (Geneva Graduate Institute members benefit from a free library to library service).
  • Before placing a Swisscovery Courier request, please try to ensure you shall be around to collect it. Uncollected loans generate a 10 CHF fee. Liaise with the Interlibrary Loan Service for advice beforehand, or after, if you foresee an unexpected problem.
  • Delivery times for a Swisscovery Courier request are usually within 3 working days.
  • If you borrow items directly from another SLSP library, these items would have to be returned directly to that Library. Swisscovery Courier would not apply.
  • Make sure to retain the SLSP voucher inserted within the item when returning it as a proof of original transit via our services.
  • Swisscovery Courier loans are automatically renewed 5 times their original loan length, as long as they are not recalled by another person. Fees for late return still apply and are managed by the lending libraries.
  • Some recently published titles could be a good addition to our collections. You may wish to consider placing a Purchase Suggestion instead.

How to Request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL):

  • Sign in on Swisscovery first (Geneva Graduate Institute members benefit from a free library to library service).
  • Before placing an ILL request, please try to ensure you shall be around to collect it. Uncollected ILLs generate a 10 CHF fee. Liaise with the Interlibrary Loan Service for advice beforehand, or after, if you foresee an unexpected problem.
  • ILL delivery times vary a great deal, from a few days to sometimes a few weeks.
  • Make sure to retain the ILL voucher inserted within the item when returning it as a proof of original transit via our services.
  • ILLs are not normally renewable. Fees for late return still apply.
  • Some recently published titles could be a good addition to our collections. You may wish to consider placing a Purchase Suggestion instead.

Contact: peb@graduateinstitute.ch


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  • Last Updated Dec 13, 2023
  • Views 50
  • Answered by Pierre-André Fink

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