It’s been a while since I traveled. Cab rides to the airport give me motion sickness. I am annoyed to have to limp around shoeless. Packing gives me anxiety. Clearly, I’d rather be online than in-line. My books, however, are another story.
Currently, 142 Touro Library books are on holiday. It’s not exactly a pleasure trip for them; it’s more of a working vacation. Touro Library participates in Interlibrary Loan (ILL), a process by which libraries borrow materials that they do not have from other institutions. And as the saying goes, you have to give a little, to take a little. Hence, Touro shares. A lot. If you see a catalog display indicating the status of a book is “non-TC ill”, it means the book is at some other college, somewhere in the world.
At present roughly 70% of our loans are at other institutions within New York State. Touro books are being read in high schools, public libraries, hospital libraries, as well as public and private universities in the State. It would not be unusual to see a Columbia or NYU student studying from a Touro tome.
Touro Library books enjoy the tri-state area, and spend a lot of their time in New Jersey and Connecticut. Some of our more adventurous books are temporarily visiting Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington (both the State and D.C.) In the past, Touro Library books have taken temporary sojourns to Puerto Rico, Canada, England and Mexico (that would be Mexico, New York, but hey, anything is possible).
The reason other institutions request materials from us is that we have worthwhile collections, with strengths in Judaica, social work, education, and medicine. Some of the items are unique to Touro Libraries. For example, Touro owns old paper copies of dissertations that are found nowhere else. Among our most frequently requested books are The Garden of Emuna: A Practical Guide to Life and A Daughter of Two Mothers.
Our Midtown, Midwood, and Lander College for Women campuses participate in the Interlibrary Loan lending program, but materials may be requested by any site.
For faculty, staff, and students interested in obtaining materials that the Touro College Libraries do not own, please visit the Request Materials page to learn more about this free program.
Contributed by: Carol Schapiro, Librarian, Midtown Library