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The RSCVD initiative

The RSCVD initiative was designed by members of the IFLA Document Delivery Resource Sharing (DDRS) Committee during the pandemic with the aim of supporting libraries unable to access collections due to lockdown.

With the help of committee members, librarian volunteers worldwide, and technical help from the Open Access Button team, the committee created a simple way for libraries worldwide to request materials from other libraries on behalf of their users. This initiative was entitled “Resource Sharing in the Time of COVID-19 (RSCVD),” and libraries worldwide were encouraged to use the service.

The use of the service involved librarians completing a speculative request form in which they specified the bibliographic information relating to the material they needed. The requests were fulfilled only electronically, so no physical loan request would be fulfilled. Upon receiving the request, committee members and librarians would first verify affiliation and make sure that the request was coming from a library, not an individual. Accordingly, librarian volunteers would check their digital collections and provide the materials through the OCLC Article Exchange Service, RapidX, Italian GARR Filesender, or another secure electronic delivery tool available to them. Of course, the service could not guarantee that all the requests could be fulfilled, but the majority were accessible via the vast digital collections held by participating libraries. The requesting library would receive an email notification when an item was ready, and the notification would include the link and password to retrieve the materials.

From April 2020 to January 2023, RSCVD Initiative has received 22,142 requests and 13,537 (61%) of them were fulfilled. It has involved more than one hundred volunteer libraries from 21 different countries, which have fulfilled requests coming from many countries worldwide.

On 2021 the initiative was funded by the European Erasmus plus programme, by means of the project HERMES – Strengthening digital resource sharing during COVID and beyond. HERMES aims to reinforce the RSCVD service and to ensure its sustainability in the future by a multifaceted action:

    • the development of a new open source resource-sharing software named TALARIA;
    • the publication of an up-to-date reflection of the meaning and practices of Resource Sharing;
    • a set of open educational materials and free distance training courses for librarians, university students and researchers. The materials aim at strengthening their competencies in searching and retrieving quality academic documents through Open Access tools and library resource sharing services.

In April 2023, during the HERMES final conference, the new logo for the RSCVD international community was voted by all the participating libraries and started to be adopted in this website and in all RSCVD communications.

In November 2023, the meaning of the RSCVD acronym has been re-thought and updated in “Resource Sharing Collaborative and Voluntary Document Delivery”.

Here some special moments that involved the Community from 2021 to the present.