Looking at interlibrary loan requests, 2018 edition

top ill banner

Unveiling the list of the most ILL’d titles each year is always fun. And it’s particularly special this year, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of OCLC interlibrary loan. Today—many services, upgrades and enhancements later—about 280 million requests have been processed, including last year’s 6.9 million.

Here’s a look based on our 2018 data.

The top 10 ILL’d titles for 2018

  1. Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover
  2. 12 Rules for Life, by Jordan Peterson
  3. Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng
  4. Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
  5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
  6. Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate
  7. Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis
  8. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
  9. Licensed to Lie, by Sidney Powell
  10. Maps of Meaning, by Jordan Peterson

Some observations

We unveiled our latest list of the most popular ILL requests last month in Jacksonville, Florida, at the OCLC Resource Sharing Conference. The resource sharing community always enjoys comparing what’s popular on the OCLC ILL system with other notable book lists. In fact, watching the traffic on the ILL system has become popular enough that my colleague Tony Melvyn issues a monthly top 10 monographs list to the ILL listserv.

This year’s list is almost all new. Eight of the ten titles appear for the first time. The only repeats are The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, which moved up to #5 from #8 and A Gentleman in Moscow, which dropped to #8 from #3.

Here are some other observations:

  •  For the first time in three years, Hillbilly Elegy is not on the list.
  •  Also, for the first time, one author, Jordan Peterson, has two books on the list, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos and Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief.
  • The titles on our list mirror those on four best seller lists: Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Barnes and Noble, and USA Today:
    • Girl Wash Your Face, which was #7 on our list, landed in the top ten of all of these lists.
    • Educated, 12 Rules for Life, and The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck appeared on at least one of the lists.
    • Surprisingly, Becoming, Michelle Obama’s autobiography, didn’t make our top ten list but was number one on all of the lists mentioned above. However, the book has been the most or second most requested title for the first three months of 2019.

Another interesting list that I looked at was Amazon’s 2018: This Year in Books, which lists the most sold books across all formats—Kindle, print, audiobooks, and subscriptions. The company breaks the list into fiction and non-fiction. The ILL request traffic on our system tracked this list pretty closely, with our top seven titles appearing on one of the lists.

Looking at interlibrary loan requests, 2018 edition. #OCLCnext Click To Tweet

The top journals for 2018

This year, for the first time, I thought I would include the list of the top 2018 serials from which articles were requested. There’s a heavy bent towards medical journals, which is understandable given the need for the most current research information.

  1. Pediatrics
  2. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
  3. Journal of Advanced Nursing
  4. Journal of Clinical Nursing
  5. Disability and Rehabilitation
  6. Teachers College Record
  7. Journal of the American Academy of child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  8. Early Child Development and Care
  9. Neurology
  10. Brain Injury: BI

What interesting numbers and trends in ILL do you see? Let us know on Twitter with #OCLCnext.


Related posts…