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Revolutionary resource-sharing

Articles, Book Chapters, and Books
Less than 24-hour turnaround time
94% or better fill rate
Innovative delivery options
Outstanding service to your users
Proven, measurable savings for your staff and library
Tiered resource sharing method that groups similar libraries to maximize borrowing/lending parity

A Practitioner’s Perspective on RapidR

Dear Current and Future Rapid Users:

I write as someone who has been an ILL practitioner since 1987. Since that time I have personally witnessed and been a part of many changes in Resource Sharing. Having seen the evolution in technology over the past three decades, I can attest that Rapid has produced some of the most ingenious and forward thinking innovations ever experienced in Resource Sharing.

From sharing journal articles and book chapters, to the latest addition of borrowing and lending books with RapidR, Rapid is in the forefront, providing the systems and the vision that enables libraries to exchange library material more effectively.

Five Boston Library Consortium [BLC] libraries: UMass Amherst, University of Connecticut, Northeastern, University of New Hampshire, and Williams College, began a pilot project with Rapid to share books, RapidR. Beginning in late 2013, our libraries used ILLiad, and the mail delivery systems already in place to allow for the exchange of books.

Based on our work with Rapid, particularly during the testing of RapidR, we found:

  • Rapid staff are attentive and do their best to understand the needs of our libraries and their users
  • Rapid staff are real people: Tom, Mike and Jane, to name a few
  • Rapid staff understand ILL, so what they do makes sense
  • Rapid products are fairly priced, with reasonable cost increases
  • Rapid turnaround is fast and the fill rate hovers at around 90%
  • RapidR is AWESOME!
  • RapidR, and all things Rapid go through ILLiad, another great resource sharing tool
  • RapidR supports unmediated borrowing by sending book requests to Rapid pods without direct staff intervention
  • RapidR supports real time availability call number lookup, not only for Rapid requests, but for ALL incoming OCLC requests with Rapid Holdings Lookup, so far less staff time is used than with manual Z39.50 searches in ILLiad.

How cool is that?

I could go on and on about the virtues of RapidR and Rapid staff, but a leap of faith is really what is needed here.

I suggest you leave the comfortable and join RapidR for the future of what resource sharing should be:

  • Unmediated
  • Innovative
  • Timely

Feel part of the process and be engaged with Rapid staff as they lead the way to more future innovations in resource sharing.

By the way, the BLC pilot is no longer a pilot, but the real deal, so that must mean that we are satisfied with the product, and we are. Help us move on, cross-podinate, and share with RapidR.

Alison Roe O'Grady
Interlibrary Loan Supervisor
Williams College Libraries

Interested in learning how RapidILL will save your staff time and library money?

Click our Public Information link. Have a question about Rapid? Contact Rapid staff any time by sending an email message to:


RapidILL is a unique resource sharing system that was designed by the Interlibrary Loan staff at Colorado State University Libraries.

Following a devastating flood in July of 1997, RapidILL was developed to provide very fast cost effective article requesting and delivery through Interlibrary Loan. RapidILL was designed by Interlibrary Loan staff for Interlibrary Loan staff.

RapidILL has 4 features that set it apart from other resource sharing systems.

  1. The software that runs the Rapid system was designed specifically for resource sharing. Among its many features are automatic processing, routing and load leveling.
  2. The holdings database is tailored to resource sharing needs. The database matches requests down to the year level.
  3. Every RapidILL library signs a contract that includes peer to peer service commitments. Service performance is closely monitored by Rapid staff.
  4. The innovative RapidX feature.

RapidILL is composed of groups of libraries referred to as ‘pods.’ Pods are created to support peer or consortium resource sharing.

The ARL pod is exclusive to ARL libraries.

Rapid’s Academic E pod is home to sites listed in the Carnegie Foundation’s “Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education” as ‘Very High’ (RU/VH) or ‘High’ (RU/H) research activity universities.

Rapid’s Academic I pod is home to libraries listed in the Carnegie Foundation’s “Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education” as DRU: Doctoral/Research Universities.

The Academic M pod is designed for libraries listed in the Carnegie Foundation’s “Classification of Institutions of Higher Education” document as ‘Large’ (L) Master’s degree granting institutions.

The Cosmo pod is open to all Rapid libraries that are eligible for one or more of the Academic Pods, and is one of the most popular pods.

The ASERL, Boston Library Consortium, ConnectNY, JULAC, Oberlin, PALCI, Prospector, SECAC and Taiwan pods are private pods open only to libraries participating in those groups.

Read More

Rapid Monthly Statistics

System Averages September-2016

Borrowing Requests Percent of Requests Filled Average Filled Turn Around Time (Hours)
115,667 97% 11.9

Current Members

Academic M 113
Academic Pod E (Extensive) 115
Academic Pod I (Intensive) 138
ARL Pod 74
Boston Library Consortium 20
California 26
ConnectNY 18
Cosmo Pod 203
Maryland 15
Medical Pod 29
Michigan Pod 8
Oberlin Pod 30
PALCI Pod 39
Prospector 12
Taiwan 15
VALE Pod 8
Academic M 65
Academic Pod E (Extensive) 64
Academic Pod I (Intensive) 74
ARL Pod 34
Boston Library Consortium 18
California 11
ConnectNY 8
Cosmo Pod 107
Maryland 3
Medical Pod 9
Michigan Pod 4
Oberlin Pod 15
PALCI Pod 20
Prospector 6
Taiwan 2
VALE Pod 5
Academic M 10
Academic Pod E (Extensive) 10
Academic Pod I (Intensive) 11
ARL Pod 7
Boston Library Consortium 19
California 1
ConnectNY 2
Cosmo Pod 16
Medical Pod 2
Michigan Pod 2
Oberlin Pod 2
Prospector 2
VALE Pod 1

Document Suppliers

Anyone may participate with document supplier libraries.