Stale Request Processing


Stale Request Processing

What is it?

Lending, Borrowing, and even Document Delivery can have stale requests that settle for days, weeks, months, even years without ever being filled or finished, because requests remain dormant in a status unless acted upon by OCLC’s updates or processing. Checking Stale requests are critical to clearing up problems before they become big problems. You may also use ILLiad to keep track of requests that are not sent via OCLC...and you also need to follow up on these if they have not been received in a reasonable amount of time.

How does it help?

This means no more dormant requests that users wonder why were not filled, or submit duplicate requests for. Stale requests, if long unchecked will once filled, also make your turnaround times suffer.

Getting started

Once every week, open the relevant queues (it helps to have a well-trained student do this):

  • Borrowing: Request Sent

  • Lending: Item Shipped; In Stacks Searching; Awaiting Odyssey Scanning

  • Doc Del: In DD Stacks Searching; Awaiting DocDel Scanning


After opening the queue, a list usually pops up (for some queues, you have to open the status from the check box in the Edit Request screen). The queue’s list is sorted by transaction number (by default), so the first one is the oldest. Open the oldest Request.


For borrowing and lending requests, check the OCLC Status (if “Record not found”, the OCLC ILL request was deleted after expiration). For Document Delivery, the stale requests typically are dated past your average turnaround time. Note: if unsure, check the tracking (click on the History tab within the request).


Next, check the Need by Date (and Transaction Date), if still valid, you can resubmit the request with new lenders. If it’s past the Need by Date, cancel the request (if a lot of time has passed you may not want to send an email to the user) but also ask in the Notes field whether the person still needs it so that you can request it again if possible.


Continue down the list until the OCLC Status of requests is consistently active and shipped, received, etc.

More information

ILLiad documentation: Processing Borrowing OCLC Special Messages

ILLiad documentation: Processing Lending OCLC Special Messages

OCLC WCRS User Guide: Special Messages

  • Last Updated Mar 19, 2024
  • Views 113
  • Answered By Katie Dessent

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