Request for info. about Document Delivery Services CMCCAWLE@WCU.BITNET 07 Oct 1992 21:23 UTC

      We have been receiving documents through CARL since May at West Chester
 University, and are extremely satisfied with the service. We initially put
 $5,000 in a deposit account with CARL and have been paying for articles for
 faculty and graduate students. In some cases we pay for undergraduates (one
 that I remember wanted an article that was only available in three Western
 states, so I thought the library was justified in footing the bill.) Most of
 the time the charge is less than $10.00 for an article, but on two occasions I
 and another librarian have discovered a charge of $100.00. I called CARL to
 find out if this was a typo, but the very nice customer service person
 discovered the charge was for real. In my case it happened because there was a
 $10.00 per page charge in addition to the copyright charge of $3.00.

 Last week we just dropped over $60,000.00 worth of periodical subscriptions
 and many of the titles are available on CARL (but not all). We have pledged to
 pay for articles from CARL for anyone if they are from a title just dropped.
 So far (about six months) we still have over $3,000.00 in our deposit account.
 West Chester has about 12,000 students (3,000 graduate) and 550 faculty, if
 that is any help.

 So far we only have one CARL terminal, behind the Reference Desk. Anyone can
 search on CARL and use their credit card to pay for articles themself. If the
 library is paying the charge, the reference librarian does the search and puts
 in the codes for payment. Interlibrary load got terribly backed up last Spring
 and we rescued them by sending for a lot of the backlog on CARL. And we still
 have much of our initial deposit left!

 One problem with CARL in Eastern Pa. is that the "screen-painting" can drive
 you crazy. It comes on the screen several seconds after you type. You either
 have to not watch the screen, or some people only use it early in the morning
 when usage in the West is down and the situation improves. There is some
 dispute as to what causes the problem. CARL blames it on our local Internet
 node; our computer people say it is overload of the system with users at
 certain times of day.

 All in all, however, everyone just loves the system. It is wonderful to ask
 for an article and have it arrive by fax the next day. We were able to
 successfully use CARL to mollify our science faculty about dropping some of
 their favorite titles.

 Christina McCawley
 Serials & Acquisitions Librarian
 West Chester University
 West Chester, PA 19383