In the United Kingdom, including to a lesser extent Eire, the last
sixty years or so have seen the development of a system of national
and regional inter-library lending of which the library service may be
justly proud. That is not to say that the system which has already
been developed is incapable of improvement, nor that the methods
adopted for the furtherance of library cooperation have always been
the most efficient and economical.
By outlining the main factors in this development, and
noting some possible changes for the future, this study seeks to
evaluate this complex method by which British libraries seek to make
the total bibliographic resources of the country readily available to
those who need access to them. In terms of the cost per item handled
it could be argued that the methods used are relatively inexpensive;
in terms of the total expenditure on duplication of functions throughout
the country, it is certainly a costly operation.
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of M.A. of the Loughborough University of Technology.