I am a library assistant at Touro College’s Midwood Campus. But I am also Touro’s coordinator of interlibrary loans. This service allows all Touro sites to share our resources and to exchange information with institutions outside the Touro College Library system. Even though the Midwood library has an extensive collection of books, periodicals, video tapes, CD-ROMs and DVDs there is always something we do not have. However, we can get almost anything if it is available to the public, and sometimes even if it is in a private collection.
Our students and faculty members are always doing research. There is always a paper due or an essay that needs to be written, and information is the key to completing these tasks. We can search thousands of libraries and request a book, journal article, video or anything required to help you complete your paper.
To serve our patrons, we search for needed items from across the globe. For example, we recently received a thesis from Australia and a book from New Zealand for a student at Boro Park 53. We also obtained a microfilm of Ukrainian poetry (the only copy in the world) for a Touro Assistant Librarian who is editing a book on Russian politics.
By the same token, we lend books to any institution that is part of the world share system. This means any university or seminary, but also government offices, and military outposts. We have also sent books to law offices conducting research in the middle of a court case, as well as correctional institutions (yes, I mean prisons). By the way, the most requested reading matter in prisons are legal topics and Greek literature (go figure).
The libraries at the many international sites of Touro College work together, utilizing our staff’s unique expertise to provide the best possible services. Our Associate Director of Libraries Michoel Rotenfeld has requested items for Midwood from the main library in Munich, Germany and found articles from esoteric encyclopedias that no one else ever heard of. Sometimes the books we receive are so old that the pages are stuck together and people seeking information miss it on their first attempt (yes, this has actually happened). When a request is especially unusual or obscure I refer to my go-to colleague Carol Schapiro in Midtown Manhattan and she usually comes up with the desired materials; if she can’t find it, the information is likely nowhere to be found.
So if you need something just call or E-mail me.
Contributed by: Sarah Nakar, Library Loan Coordinator & Library Assistant, Midwood (Flatbush) Library