Custom Holdings: Getting Started


Getting Started

Custom Holdings consists of Groups and Paths. Groups are a list of OCLC symbols with a common trait such as libraries that loan DVDs or have long loan periods. Paths are customized sets of custom holdings groups that prioritize Groups according to your strategies for obtaining material for processing borrowing request.


The more lending libraries you can add to your custom holdings groups the more effective the operation, whether your priorities focus on reducing cost, faster turnaround times, preferred delivery (Odyssey, FedEx/UPS lenders, etc.), libraries that charge by IFM or Invoice, loan DVDs, or loan whole e-books.


A reciprocal group is specific holdings group for each library to include libraries that sign a mutual agreement to not charge each other. This reduces billing processing, saves staff time, and reduces overall cost of ILL operations.

Libraries Very Interested in Sharing (LVIS) agree not to charge each other, and as such, very effectively lower the cost of ILL and reduce staff time involved with billing (for more details, see the LVIS website).

Because custom holdings takes time to customize and lender policies change periodically, a best practice is to update the groups every year.

The following table is an example of how you might organize your Custom Holdings.





IDS Project (consortium)

IDS Project (consortium)


Regional reciprocal group (e.g. NY3R)

Reciprocal Odyssey libraries


State reciprocal group

Free Odyssey libraries (e.g. LVIS)


Regional LVIS libraries

Free Email/Article Exchange libraries


Libraries charging <= $5 IFM

Libraries charging <= $5 IFM


Libraries charging $5-$10 IFM

Libraries charging $5-$10 IFM


Some libraries break groups out extensively by cost, while others cluster them together in smaller Customs Holdings Groups (e.g. $5-$10IFM, $11IFM-$15IFM).


How does Custom Holdings Help?


Custom Holdings provide a significant time and cost savings. It automates the selection of lenders and customizes selections based on your criteria. It can almost eliminate the need to check the OCLC Policy Directory while processing requests.


To review or edit Custom Holdings you will need access to WorldShare Interlibrary Loan Configuration.

  • Last Updated Aug 30, 2022
  • Views 841
  • Answered By Angela Galvan

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