An Interview with Diana Teeter, InterLibrary Loan Coordinator

Have you ever wondered what goes on “behind the scenes” of the InterLibrary Loan Department? How do the books and other items that we request – even titles that are relatively obscure, or only internationally held – arrive so quickly? (ILL can be an excellent way to obtain materials not held at the GC Library, and we encourage everyone to make frequent use of this free Library service.)

We’re delighted to share a recent conversation with Diana Teeter, InterLibrary Loan Coordinator, in order to shed a bit of light on the process, and most importantly, the individuals involved in ILL! Nota bene: In addition to her role at the Mina Rees Library, Diana Teeter is also an experienced painter! You can check out some of her excellent artwork here.

The below interview was conducted by Bel Exel (MALS ’23, with a concentration in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies). Bel is the Library’s Outreach Coordinator, and the source of our recently dynamic social media presence on Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you for meeting with us! What is your favorite aspect of InterLibrary Loan (ILL)? 

Diana Teeter, InterLibrary Loan Coordinator and artist extraordinaire

My favorite thing about working in the GC’s ILL Department is seeing all the requested books arriving to the library. Our patrons do research in so many topics and my reading list grows constantly – so many books that I would have never known to look for pique my interest, and I have read books on so many different topics now just because they looked interesting when I checked them in for a patron. I feel lucky to have access to so much knowledge through my job.

Absolutely! We’d also love to know more about your role in the ILL Department.  

My role in the ILL office is to keep service for both lending our books out and getting books for our patrons running smoothly. Most of this is done thorough answering and sending emails to both patrons and to other libraries to either verify information to make sure we are borrowing or lending the correct material, or making sure that the request queues are being processed so that patrons get their requests sent out to lending libraries. I also spend time tracking down lost or overdue books, requesting renewals, or assisting in the office with processing incoming books or with shipping books out.

Since you’re also an artist, we wonder how  your work at the Mina Rees Library  contributes to your artistic practice? 

I have used ILL for my own research (and to borrow books for fun reading!). I have been able to borrow some amazing art books that I would never have been able to find without having access to ILL.

ILL can be a little mysterious – is there something in particular you’d like everyone to know about how it works? 

The thing I would like people to know about ILL is that we really enjoy searching for what our patron needs and we don’t mind the difficult or rare book or article requests. It is always a fun victory when we can get materials that are difficult to source, or maybe are only found in one library on microfilm. I am constantly learning new ways to search for rare items and we love a challenge.  Sometimes we can’t find things and it is just as disappointing to us as it is to the patron when that happens. We never give up a search easily and will always try every source possible.

Thank you so much, Diana, for taking the time to share about your work with the ILL Department! Again, we strongly encourage all GC students, faculty, and staff to explore the wonderful utility of InterLibrary Loan for obtaining electronic or print materials, simply by logging in and placing your requests here. [If you have questions, please ask us at: ]

About the Author

Elvis Bakaitis is currently the Head of Reference at the Mina Rees Library. They're also proud to serve on the University LGBTQ Council, and as a board member of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies.