Q. Buy vs. Borrow

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Buy vs. Borrow

What is it?

Depending on your library’s ILL policies, there may be times when it is not possible or cost-efficient to borrow a book or to obtain an article. In these cases, there are two options available to IDS Project members: articles can be purchased from the Copyright Clearance Center’s Get It Now service, and books and media can be purchased through the Getting It System Toolkit (GIST).

Get It Now

The Get It Now service allows libraries to quickly, easily, and more cost-effectively provide

articles to their patrons. With access to over 8,800 journal titles from leading publishers, Get It Now provides a gateway for purchasing journal articles on-demand at a price lower than purchasing articles directly from the publishers’ websites, at a negotiated flat fee of $24/article. In addition, articles obtained through Get It Now are delivered through Odyssey, often with turnaround times under an hour. Billing is consolidated which is ideal for ILL departments without credit cards.

Getting It System Toolkit (GIST).

GIST is a suite of tools that facilitates purchase request management within ILLiad by integrating ILLiad and Acquisitions. It is tailored for a purchase-on-demand workflow. Using data gathered from WorldCat, Amazon, Better World Books, and other book repositories, staff can easily determine if it makes more sense to buy a book, borrow a book, or connect users with a full-text copy if it’s available.

How does it help?

Not only can purchasing a book or article save you money, it almost guarantees better turnaround time for your patrons. It can also improve the diversity of your books and media collection. Purchasing can make the most sense if the combination of lender fees and return shipping is more than a new or used copy of the item itself (in some cases you can even get free shipping, such as with Amazon Prime). For articles, you can often pay less to purchase a copy than to pay copyright royalties.

Getting Started

For GIST, visit http://www.gistlibrary.org.

For Get It Now

First, contact the Copyright Clearance Center to set up your account:


Then download the Get It Now Add-on from the ILLiad Add-ons directory  (See the information about Add-ons in the Universal section.)

Individual Vendors

If your library has a vendor of choice, you can take advantage of individual vendor add-ons from Amazon, Alibris, Barnes & Noble, and others to make quick purchases. These are handy especially if you only make occasional purchases through your ILL office. (See the information about Add-ons in the Universal section.)

Tip: Assign a Vendor for your purchase requests

Making a purchase in ILL? We recommend using a custom Lender Address record simply called “Vendor.” Not only will this allow you to easily track and search for your purchases in ILLiad, but marking it as a “Copyright Payer” also prevents purchased articles from accidentally appearing in your copyright orders.

To avoid any connection manager errors, be sure to switch the system ID from OCLC to OTH.



  • Last Updated Mar 09, 2017
  • Views 86
  • Answered By Simone L. Yearwood

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