ILLiad Glossary

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The library personnel or department tasked with selecting materials to purchase or acquire for the library's permanent collection. Often, ILL data is used to determine what materials should be purchased.


The process by which a user's credentials, such as username and password, are checked against an authority file. When authenticated, individual users are granted access. For ILLiad users, authentication is employed to determine which users are able to make or change requests in the web interface.


Bibliographic Record

An entry in a library catalog that contains all the functional information for an item in the collection. This information includes the item's title, creator, place of publication, and subject headings. The metadata in the record is often discovered via a search in the library catalog.


A logic for improving searches by using operators such as AND, OR, NOT, and parentheses to group search items together.


The sharing of resources between institutions. The borrowing institution is the place from which the request originated. In ILLiad, Borrowing is the mediated process by which borrowing requests are processed.



When materials are temporarily loaned to patrons in a library system or sent to another library through Interlibrary Loan. Non-circulating items are resources deemed by library staff to be too valuable, rare, or impractical to allow outside of the library building.


A concise summary of bibliographic information for the function of locating that resource. For example, a citation may include title, author, place, and date of publication, and any page numbers relevant to that resource.


The main application window through which staff can process ILLiad requests. Licensees are permitted to install the ILLiad client on as many workstations as necessary to optimize library efficiency.

Constant Data

Constant data is saved information within WorldShare ILL and ILLiad that auto-fills in certain forms. Optimizing constant data is one strategy in boosting workflow efficiency.

Custom Holdings

Custom holdings are groups of OCLC libraries, written in a lending string notation as organized into groups of OCLC symbols, that are your preferred lenders. You might have agreements to lend and borrow first with libraries within your state or community, or there might be agreements between your preferred institutions to waive lending and borrowing fees. Custom holdings are another strategy to boost Interlibrary Loan processing efficiency.



A database is any formalized collection of data. A library catalog is an example of a database. In ILLiad, the database includes groups of records describing your Users, the Interlibrary Loan transactions, and other tracking information. Data in a database are always structured following certain rules that allow for interoperability, searching, and reporting.


The National Library of Medicine's Interlibrary Loan request routing system. It facilitates requests and deliveries of documents between libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. 

Document Delivery

If you have been around ILL for a while, you probably think of the term Document Delivery in reference to obtaining articles or other documents from a source outside the traditional ILL process like the services provided by Infotrieve or the British Library’s Document Supply. But in ILLiad, Document Delivery refers to a module within the ILLiad client that maintains a separate workflow to supply scanned materials from your own collection to your own patrons.

Doc Del

See Document Delivery.


Electronic Delivery

The term we use for the process of exchanging documents in a digital format. ILLiad uses a program called Odyssey to exchange items between libraries and to post items to the web for your patrons.  Electronic delivery is the generic term for the process of delivering documents and Odyssey is the program that does the electronic delivery.

Email Templates

Automatic email templates generated within ILLiad that is populated by data from the ILLiad client, for instance, biographical information about the user and title information from the request. Templates are one way that ILLiad improves efficiency for Interlibrary Loan staff.


An authentication method that allows users to remotely connect to systems that require local authentication. This is a service provided by OCLC.



Generally speaking, a field is a place where data are stored. A field could be the space where a text string is entered, such as a title, or a series of numbers, such as with an ISBN. In ILLiad, fields can be edited, updated, and deleted in order to process Interlibrary Loan requests records.

Full Text

Refers to documents, usually articles, which are available in full to members of a library or through Interlibrary Loan.



A library’s holdings contain its collection. It will have all bibliographic records for things within that library. OCLC WorldCat Holdings are holdings made publicly searchable and interoperable through OCLC WorldCat. By searching here, you can discover what other libraries have. OCLC Local holdings contain information and details about your own institution’s library as well as your Interlibrary Loan policies.

Hosted Server

Your library may have elected to have OCLC or Atlas Systems host your server. If so, your server’s maintenance, backups, and security are managed by these teams. A hosted server is one which is managed & maintained by another entity, This service is provided by OCLC for ILLiad installations and by Atlas for Ares and Aeon.


Interlibrary Loan

The process by which libraries can share materials; a library may request to borrow a book or article from another library, a library can offer to send its materials to another library, or both. Often abbreviated as "ILL," Interlibrary Loan is a cooperative agreement with a wide network of libraries through OCLC to foster better service for library patrons. 


Acronym for Interlibrary Loan.


The "International Standard Book Number" is a unique identifier for every published book. By using the ISBN, you can directly locate a specific book, or you can share that information with another to ensure loan and borrowing accuracy.  


The "International Standard Serial Number" is a unique identifier for periodical publications.



An authentication method employed to ensure users have the correct credentials and permissions to do work within ILLiad either as a patron or as Interlibrary Loan staff. The virtue of LDAP is to provide a single sign-on for users so that one username/password combination can be used for many services. LDAP is a service provided by your institution and is not directly part of ILLiad.


In general, Lending institutions open their collections to other institutions to borrow from. A lending institution might be a larger university system or a repository. In ILLiad, a lending library within the ILLiad community refers to a library that processes more outgoing loans than incoming borrows.

Lending String

During the Interlibrary Loan request, after an item’s record has been verified and holdings have been searched, a lending string is created. This is a string of letters and/or numbers that compose OCLC symbols; each symbol represents a library within the OCLC community. The string is read left to right and in order. If the first loaning library declines the request for any reason, the request is sent to the second library and so on until the request is filled or the string is fully processed.

Library of Congress

A central authority for libraries within the United States, the Library of Congress is one of three national libraries that provides bibliographic data and standards and guides the development of major library services such as cataloging and information sharing.

Library of Congress Call Numbers

A popular classification system, LC call numbers rely on Library of Congress subject headings and classifications in order to group similar materials together. The call number is generated using an algorithm that places the material within the stacks governed by a logical, formal schema.

Local Server

If your ILLiad server is hosted maintained by your own campus’s IT department or within your own library, it is a local server. You will be able to manage your own hardware as well as your own backups with a local server.


Every process in ILLiad will generate a log, and these logs are used to help diagnose problems as they arise as well as identify workflow issues and errors. Logs are crucial for Atlas & OCLC employees to help you during support.


MARC Record

MARC stands for “Machine Readable Catalog record” and AACR2 are the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules 2nd edition. Simply, MARC is the record container for bibliographic data – think, a card, only something for machines to read – and AACR2 is the cataloging schema by which materials are cataloged. Both the MARC container and AACR2 schema dictate how bibliographic information is shown in ILLiad.



A field within ILLiad that manages both delivery locations and processing sites outside of the main library location. For example, if you are a member of a larger university with satellite campuses, those campuses may be listed as NVTGCs.



The Online Computer Library Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to collocating library catalogs to aid in resource sharing and resource discovery. OCLC and Atlas Systems have partnered to deliver the ILLiad client to users and provide training and support for library staff.


OpenURL and OpenURL Resolvers are tools that enable users to better link to resources on the web. In Interlibrary Loan, an OpenURL protocol might be used to allow users to pass specific record information from a library’s catalog or electronic reference databases to Atlas product request forms. and then that URL is processed in order to automatically link that data within ILLiad.


OPAC, the online public access catalog, is a portal through which users can search bibliographic records stored in a library’s catalog. OPACs are often cross-referenced in ILLiad when searching for holdings to build a lending string.



A resource sharing network outside of ILLiad, primarily for articles. ILLiad is able to send and receive requests through Rapid.


When a lending library needs a loaned item returned immediately, it will send a recall notice to the borrower.


Records can be described within two contexts. In OCLC, WorldCat, and your library’s OPAC or catalog, a record is the full bibliographic information about some resources. When queried by a user, it is usually presented as a web page. ILLiad Request records will detail the full information about the request, including relevant user information and resource bibliographic information.



A computer on which information is stored, accessible to users, and connected to a network. Your client software communicates with an ILLiad server on which data are stored.

Shared Server

Supported in ILLiad, a shared server reflects one database that is shared by multiple libraries within one system but processes things separately, especially between departments. For instance, your campus could have one shared server of user accounts that are accessed by both a science library and a humanities library.


SMTP stands for “simple mail transfer protocol,” and the SMTP email relay manages email transmissions to and from the ILLiad server.


Book stacks are the primary storage facility for a library's collection. Stacks are arranged either by the Dewey Decimal Classification System or the Library of Congress Classification system for the purpose of formalized, logical ordering of materials. 


SQL stands for “structured query language,” and it is the primary mechanism by which ILLiad communicates with your Interlibrary Loan database. ILLiad They use SQL queries to ask the database to return certain data, modify, update, or delete that data, or supply new data to the database.



A recently retired Interlibrary Loan framework provided by OCLC and open to OCLC member libraries.

WorldShare ILL

The framework through which ILLiad is able to send, receive, and process Interlibrary Loan requests, WorldShare ILL is a new service managed by OCLC for the purpose of resource sharing.



A standard communication protocol for searching and retrieving information from a database over a TCP/IP network. For Interlibrary Loan, it allows for searching other provides the ability to search library catalogs OPACs, or online public access catalogs, to determine an item's location and availability. if that library has the resource your patron wants, as well as other holdings and full-text databases.


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