What would I do without thee, interlibrary loan?
Texas prison records were far away, I bemoaned.
The Lone Star State Archives on its Web site
listed microfilm offering ancestral insight.
But alas, how could I travel to Austin
With what the airline tickets are costin?
Then I spied words lovely to behold:
Interlibrary loan, right there in bold.
All I need do was make an inquiry
at the reference desk of my local library.
Nary four weeks nigh, I received the voice mail
The film now awaitedI could barely exhale!
A $5 fee and I, to a microfilm reader,
Ran quicker (well, almost) than Derek Jeter.
Some scrolling andmy ancestor! My very own
Genealogical revelation, thanks to interlibrary loan.
Seriously, if you’re searching the online catalog of some faraway library and it has the microfilm you need, and you’re considering taking out a second mortgage to make the trip there, see if the library participates interlibrary loan. If it does, print the catalog page and take it directly to your library’s reference or circulation desk, and ask to submit an interlibrary loan request.
Want helpful hints on using interlibrary loan? The April 2006 Family Tree Magazine has what you’re looking for.