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OCLC Support

Relais supplying

Learn how to receive, process, and deliver requests in Relais ILL.

Receive requests

See Receive requests.

Requests are received from other libraries by a variety of different methods. Irrespective of how requests are received they are all created in the Relais database and follow the appropriate RequestFlow and other processing rules.

  • Via ISO ILL. From other libraries using Relais, VDX or Agent, or from the LADD gateway.
  • From OCLC. If you are an OCLC member using WorldCat Resource Sharing, then requests can be received from OCLC via ISO ILL.
  • From Docline. If you are a Docline library then files of new requests can be loaded into Relais.
  • Via the Relais request forms. These forms can be made available to other libraries that do not have access to an ILL system that sends out requests; the Relais request form can be offered.
  • Via the generic script. From other libraries using Relais or VDX.
  • Staff may also enter requests received from other libraries, e.g., via phone or email. Staff can enter these requests via the Windows Login or via the Staff web.

Identify local location(s)

Once requests are received or entered into Relais, the local location from which the request is to be filled must be identified. In Relais this is an automated process using Search Auto, if Search Auto is unable to find a match, then staff will look at the request and determine whether or not the requested item is in the local collection. Both Search Auto and Search Manual use Z39.50 to search the local catalogue. One of a pre-defined set of holdings and locations configurations is used to retrieve the local location, call number, summary holdings and other availability information and add it to the request. 

Distribute requests

Once the requested item has been identified in the catalogue and the local location and call number added to the request. The request can be:

  • Printed as a Relais pickslip.
  • Email as a Relais pickslip.
  • A message sent to the local library system to place a local hold on the item (NCIP RequestItem).

Process requests (Scan or update)

Once staff has completed the retrieval, requests can be updated. Requests are updated in one of several ways depending on what can or cannot be supplied to the requesting library.

Fill as a loan

See Fill as a loan.

When a request is updated as a loan, Relais creates a loan tracking record allowing the request and the item(s) loaned to be tracked through until returned by the requesting library. It is also possible to generate and send overdue notices to the requesting library if the item is not returned by the due date. Staff may also recall an item or items loaned to other libraries.

If your local library system supports NCIP it can be used with Relais so that the loan done in Relais in turn checks out the item in the local library system. 

Fill as a scan from print

The Relais scanner module (optional) can be used to scan the requested pages from a print document, e.g., a journal article. Once the document is scanned it is passed on to the delivery process to be sent to the requesting library. 

Fill using an electronic document

 Note: It is also possible to do this update from Search Manual.

If the requested item exists in electronic format (and can be supplied through interlibrary loan) then staff can browse to the location where the document is stored and attach it to the request. Once the document is attached it is passed on to the delivery process to be sent to the requesting library.


 Note: It is also possible to do this update from Search Manual.

When the requested item cannot be supplied, e.g., it is not on the shelf, it is lost, it has not been received or it is on loan, staff can update the request indicating the reason for non-supply. Once the request is updated with the reason for non-supply it is passed on to the delivery process so a message can be sent to the requesting library.

Deliver documents and messages

Once documents have been scanned or attached, or requests updated as loans or cancels then the delivery process handles the sending of the documents and messages as appropriate.  

Documents can be sent to other libraries via Ariel, Odyssey, email attachment, post to web or they can be printed for traditional postal services. Messages can be sent via email.  

In addition when requests are received via ISO ILL or from OCLC, the corresponding messages are sent back, for example a Shipped message.