In 2000, Joanne Halgren, then the Head of Interlibrary Loan at the University of Oregon Libraries, along with other Pacific Northwest librarians saw a potential audience for a regional, ILL- and Resource Sharing-related conference. The purpose of the conference was to support regional librarians and paraprofessional staff in public, academic and special libraries who had ILL and/or Resource Sharing as a significant portion of their jobs. From the first conference in 2001, the day-and-a-half event was a resounding success. It has been held annually since that time with an average attendance of 150. Program content ranges from practical, how-to sessions to philosophical discussions on the future of interlibrary loan and resource sharing in the greater library world. Each year the planning committee works hard to feature regional speakers who are ILL and Resource Sharing practitioners, balanced with bigger-name speakers familiar to the greater ILL and Resource Sharing communities. Pre-conference sessions are generally provided by Atlas Systems, Inc. or other companies offering longer training sessions. Feedback on the conference has been consistently gathered from both verbal reports and post-conference surveys.
Over the past fifteen years the Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference has come to serve an important role in the Pacific Northwest library community as a continuing education training and networking opportunity for practitioners.
Many attendees share takeaways from their experience at the Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference. Here are just a few…
"This is a great conference to get new ideas and meet some pretty wonderful people who are as passionate about Resource Sharing as you are. I look forward to coming every year."
"This is a great event to learn and meet others. The perfect place to ask that 'silly question' and find out that that question isn't so silly!"
"This conference will put you in contact with some of the best folks thinking about and carrying out the day to day practice of interlibrary loan and document delivery."
"NWILL provides a wonderful opportunity for ILL/Resource Sharing/Access Services staff to get together and learn from one another. Every year I have attended I have come away with great lessons and felt inspired to create more effective resource sharing workflows and policies at my home library."
"Whether it's your first year in ILL or you are a seasoned ILL staff member this conference will have something for you. The sessions are always engaging and a great way to meet up with your colleagues."
"Come prepared with a list of questions you would like answered. Even if the topics are not on the agenda or if you don't have an opportunity to bring it up during a session, this is a tremendous resource for information from other attendees. Almost everyone is more than willing to share their experiences and ideas."
"Good platform to learn about current events, trends, and technology, to participate in continuing education, and to build networks."
"Not just logistics. I was pleasantly surprised by the broad range of topics, from custom apps to front line desk service. Useful information that we can put to use in actual daily library work."
"The NWILL Conference provides a great opportunity to learn about a variety of topics related to interlibrary loans."
"The varied format, with small group and large group sessions, is very effective. Participants have many opportunities to engage in discussions with other attendees, during sessions or after sessions."
"It's very useful, and I'd highly recommend attending. I've been going since my first year working in ILL, and I get many useful ideas every time I go. NWILL keeps innovating and I look forward to it each year."
“Came away with a renewed sense of purpose in my work and good ideas for both immediate and future changes.”
“This was my first ILL Resource Sharing Conference. I've attended a lot of conferences and this by far was the best in terms of learning something new and providing best practices. Am definitely planning on attending again!”
“This conference was really well run and well developed. The speakers brought together a wide variety of topics and many were generic enough to be relevant to small academics, large academics and publics. Looking forward to it in the future.”
“I thought it was perfect…great idea sharing and the sessions were the right length of time, the overall variety of sessions pleasing and interesting. Great conference!”
“Another great conference--thanks for all the hard work!”
“Well organized. Efficient, topical.”
“Great conference! I really enjoyed presentations from those not from the NW. I think it helps to bring in new ideas and perspectives.”
“Good lecture topics. Good venue. Good food.”
“I like this conference as it is very practical and small enough to allow interesting networking.”
“Thanks for all your hard work, this was the best ILL conference yet of the four I have attended.”
“I enjoyed it tremendously and am glad I got to attend.”
“I always enjoy attending this conference.”