Both the theory and the practice of interlending are discussed, using academic libraries in Germany and England as case studies. These two countries represent the two opposite extremes of national interlending systems: the centralised solution in England on the one hand and the decentralised one in Germany on the other. After an outline of historical developments in interlending in both countries, the problems facing interlending services are described as well as several projects that look at the different possibilities to cope with increased pressures on these services. The analysis of a performance measurement study, undertaken in one library in England and one in Germany, forms the practical part of the dissertation. Background information about the libraries is given as well as an analysis of their current interlending procedures. The two libraries show similarities in the kinds of requests that were made, but an important result was the huge differences in speed of supply due to the different systems. A comparative analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of both systems concludes the study, together with suggestions for further research.
A Master's Dissertation. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Masters of Arts degree of Loughborough University.