- Document delivery service (DDS) or document supply service “refers to the physical or electronic delivery of a document from a library collection to the residence or place of business of a library user, upon request.”
- The steps to be followed in providing DDS are: receipt and analysis of demand, identification and location of required document, procurement of document, copying the required portion of the document, if required, and delivering the original/copy of the required portion of the document to the user.
- Various media are employed for document delivery, such as delivery from circulation desk within the library, or at the user’s doorstep by messenger or by post/courier, transmission through fax, delivery of document recorded on CD/DVD, transmission of soft copy through intranet or as e-mail attachment.
- Inter-library lending has been the earliest method used for document delivery. This system is still prevalent in many countries.
- With the advent of various reprographic techniques, it has now become possible to supply photocopies of required portions of documents.
- Mainly xerography is now being used for preparing photocopies of documents.
- When a copy of any document or a portion of a document is supplied to the user it involves legal issue.
- Many countries have made provision in their copyright laws to allow copying in a limited way for “fair use” by scholars and researchers.
- A library/information professional does the liaison work in DDS.
- The most popular DDS provider, at international level is perhaps the British Library Document Supply Centre (BLDSC, earlier known as BLLD and now re-launched as British Library on Demand). There are also now private organizations which provide this service.
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