Multi-Copy ILL Requesting

In OutLook OnLine, it is possible to submit a single ILL request for multiple copies of the same title. The 2015 implementation of the ERTI matching algorithm has led to changes in how multi-copy requests are submitted in OutLook OnLine; this page explains what the new workflow procedures are. It also contains information for public libraries on multi-copy requesting specifically for book clubs.



OutLook OnLine workflow steps for multi-copy requests:

  1. Log on to the OutLook OnLine system.
  2. Look for the item that you wish to request, and then click on the record for the item.
  3. Once you are in the item’s record, look for the Staff Function box. Please Note: Before April 20th, 2016 this is found on the bottom left-hand side; after the new interface update on April 20th it will be located on the top right-hand side.


  4. In the Staff Function box, click on “Multi-Copy” and then fill out the ILL request form.
    a. The Multi-Copy form has recently been updated to make it much more user friendly! Now you can watch it actively build all the available lenders and you can even stop the lender list build if you have enough lenders already.

    b. You can also make changes to the lender list before submitting your Multi-Copy request. For example most lenders were removed to only include a few lenders below.

    c. Enter in any number of copies you'd like to request. For example 3 or 10.

    d. When you submit your Multi-Copy request it will create separate requests for each copy you need with different Lenders.  Different lenders attached to each request means your requests won't overlap and be rejected because the request has already been filled from a particular library. Three requests/copies were requested below. The system automatically creates each new copy request with a separate Request #.

    e. If you deleted Lenders from the original Multi-Copy request they should not show up again in any of the individual requests the system creates for you found in Awaiting Approval.  For example a request for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" builds a Lender List of 77 lenders from everyone available to start.  Then if you only needed 3 copies and deleted all available lenders but 9 of them, the system would create 3 new original requests with 3 different Lenders each (screenshot below):

    f. If you have "Automatic Approval" turned off, you can edit each separate request created in the "Awaiting Approval" section, found under Staff Menu > ILL Admin > Request Manager, to update the Lender Lists again or add personal patron information. For example if you entered 6 copies needed, the system would automatically create 6 separate requests for the same title and you could find the requests in "Awaiting Approval" to add individual Patron identifiers before you "Approved - Send" the requests.




If you require multi-copies for a book club, you can also try looking for book club sets in a library's web catalogue. Vancouver Public Library has hundreds of book club sets, a full list of which are available here:

  1. Once you have located the desired book set in a library's web catalogue, you can then request the set in OutLook OnLine via the Blank ILL Request form.
  2. Manually enter the owning library into the Lender List using the library's SHAREit code, followed by a comma and the number 4 (EG. BVA,4).
  3. Add a borrower's note indicating that you're interested in the book set, with the number of copies needed.



There are two ways for libraries to fill ILL requests for book clubs and they are shown differently in your ILL lending and borrowing statistics. 

  1. Numbers of Copies Needed: Once a request, created using the multi-copy form, is submitted it is treated the same as any other request for the purposes of statistical counting. It creates as many OutLook OnLine requests as you have indicated in the "number of copies" field and these are then individually processed in OutLook OnLine.

    But you can check-out the number of times the Multi-Copy feature was used to create individual requests within the new Multi Copy Statistics found under Staff Dashboard > Statistics > ILL Statistics > Activity and Request Reports > Select Report Type: Borrower Activity for a specific date range. At the top under the first "Grand Totals" section, you'll see the Multi Created and Multi Requests sections last.

    When you use the Multi-Copy Request form to create multiple requests - both the number of times a multi-copy request form was used to create requests and how many actual requests were created using this method are counted. For example if you use the Multi-Copy Request form once to request 7 copies of your item you'll see in the report:

    • Multi Created = 1
    • Multi Requests = 7

    If your multi-copy created request statistics show zero (0) items please check-out our  FAQ: Why does my Multi Copy Statistics report say that multi-copy requests were created zero times when we know we used it? for more info.

  2. Book Sets - Lender: The lending library receives a request for a book set in OutLook OnLine. Depending on the physical number of copies and the total weight, the book set may have to be split into more than one shipment. The additional shipments qualify as exceptions. For example, a book set may require 3 packages: one is counted in OutLook OnLine and the additional two may be submitted as exceptions lent, BC Other (enter the library name as "Book set").
  3. Book Sets - Borrower: The borrowing library receives a book set in OutLook OnLine. Some libraries have one person pick up the set of books for a book club - this would be counted using OutLook OnLine and not as an exception borrowed. Other libraries process each book in a set to individual book club members. Only one of the books is counted; the remaining number of copies needed/received for individual book club members qualify as exceptions. For example, a book set may have 10 copies: one is counted in OutLook OnLine and the additional 9 may be submitted as exceptions borrowed, BC Other (enter the library name as "Book set").




A book club set may require more than one package as the Library Book Rate allows up to a 5 kg maximum package. Additional packages/processing may be submitted as exception statistics - see the Statistics section above.


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