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OCLC Support

Express program

Find information about the Express digital delivery program, which connects high-performing libraries to form a select group committed to delivering digital resources within 18 hours or less.

About the Express program

As part of Smart fulfillment, the Express program enables digital resource sharing among a select group of libraries using the WorldShare ILL network that have turnaround times for lending digital materials of 18 hours or less. More than 1,000 libraries from around the world are actively participating in Express based on their ability to deliver articles and other digital resources within this timeframe.

  • Participation is open to libraries using WorldShare ILL, Tipasa, or ILLiad and is included in these subscriptions.
  • By participating in the Express program, libraries commit to an 18-hour turnaround time on average for copy requests. To ensure the program is beneficial for all participants, the OCLC Resource Sharing Team regularly reviews turnaround times, contacts participants not meeting program expectations, and adds or removes participants so that the goals of the program are maintained.
  • The Express program helps fast lenders identify each other and benefit from the quick turnaround time for digital materials. If the borrower is applying a custom holdings path to a request or building the request through automation, the system load balances these requests preventing single libraries from seeing a dramatic increase in requests.
  • See Improve turnaround time and Turnaround Time dashboard for additional information.
  • To see if you qualify for the Express program, please send an email to

LVIS program

More than 600 Express libraries are also members of the Libraries Very Interested in Sharing (LVIS) resource sharing group, which agree to supply articles to each other for free. If you are a free lender or are interested in becoming one, you may consider joining the LVIS group.   Refer to Libraries Very Interesting in Sharing (LVIS) for more information.

Symbol lists

An updated Express symbols list is emailed to participants three times per year (January, May, and August). Express libraries that are members of LVIS are also sent an Express LVIS symbols list.

Participate in the Express program

The Express program is only for copy requests, meaning items that can be delivered digitally including article copies and other digital resources. 

By joining the Express program, libraries commit to an 18-hour turnaround time for copy requests. 

  • The 18-hour timeframe is an average across all copy requests, meaning not every request must be filled in 18 hours or less. Many libraries that participate in Express are closed on the weekends but still meet the 18-hour average.
  • If your ILL department will be closed for an extended period of time, we recommend switching your library to nonsupplier status in the OCLC Policies Directory. This ensures you do not receive requests during this time which may affect the average turnaround time for copy requests.
  • If you need to pause your participation in the Express program, please send an email to
  • To remove your library from the program, please send an email to

Create a Custom Holdings Group for Express libraries

When you receive the list of Express symbols, use this list to create a Custom Holdings Group

To create a custom holdings group for Express libraries:

  1. Sign in to Service Configuration.
  2. On the left navigation, click WorldShare ILL > Custom Holdings Groups.
  3. On the Configure Custom Holdings Groups screen, select Create New Custom Holdings Group.
  4. In the Custom Holdings Group Name field, enter a name for the Express libraries group.
    • Examples: Express, Express LVIS
  5. Optional. Enter a description of the group.
    • Example: Symbols for Express libraries May 2021
  6. Click Add/Edit symbol(s).
  7. In the Add/Edit OCLC symbols window, add the symbols of the Express library participants from the list provided. Separate multiple symbols with a space.
  8. Click Update Symbols.
  9. Click Save.

Best practices for suppliers

  1. Check your ILL lending queue at least twice a day (on days your library is open).
  2. Process copy requests before loan requests.
Additional best practices for Tipasa libraries

Make the Express Custom Holdings Group a Lending Priority to show these requests in a queue specific to the Express program. See Lending Priorities for more information.

Set the Express libraries as a Lending Priority

  1. Sign in to Service Configuration.
  2. On the left navigation, click WorldShare ILL > Advanced Workflows.
  3. Under Lending Priorities, select the On check box.
  4. In the Display Name field, enter a display name for the group.  The display name appears in the Tipasa interface, at the bottom of the left navigation.
    • Example: Express Libraries
  5. In the Filter by fields, from the first list, select Custom Holdings Group, depending on the group you want to add.
  6. From the second list, select the Express group.
  7. Click Save.

See Lending Priorities for more information.

Additional best practices for ILLiad libraries
  • Set up a routing rule to move these requests into a custom queue. See Configuring Routing Rules for more information.
  • Do not update the request to yes until you are ready to scan the article.

Best practices for requestors

  1. Set the Express Custom Holdings Group the first in the Custom Holdings Path you use to request copies.
  2. Set up an automation with Automated Request Manager

Set the Express libraries to be first in your Custom Holdings Path

  1. In Service Configuration, on the left navigation, click WorldShare ILL > Custom Holdings Paths.
  2. From the Custom Holdings Path drop-down, select the custom holdings path to edit.
  3. Select the Express libraries group to include and click Add.
  4. Click and drag the Express libraries group in the Groups chosen for this path section to be the first in the list of selected groups.
  5. Click Save.

See Custom Holdings Paths for more information.

Set up an automation for Express libraries 

  1. In Service Configuration, on the left navigation, click WorldShare ILL > Automated Request Manager.
  2. Select +Add New.
  3. Under Matches, select Request Type > Copy.   
  4. Click the Addbutton.png Add an Action option and select Send Request to Lenders and select the Custom Holdings Path containing the Express Custom Holdings Group. 
  5. Click the Addbutton.png Add an Action option and select Apply Constant Data and select the Constant Data record that you want to apply to the requests matching this automation.   
  6. Click Save.

See Automated Request Manager for more information.

Additional best practices for Tipasa libraries
Configure the Express libraries Custom Holdings Group as Proven Senders.

Add the Express libraries to your Proven Senders

  1. In Service Configuration, on the left navigation, click WorldShare ILL > Advanced Workflows.
  2. Under Proven Senders, ensure the On check box is selected.
  3. Select Include only this Custom Holdings Group. Select the Express library group from the Custom Holdings Group drop-down.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Copy requests fulfilled by the symbols in the custom holdings group you selected will begin to be automatically received.

See Proven Senders for more information.

Additional best practices for ILLiad libraries
Turn on Odyssey Trusted Sender and Article Exchange Trusted Sender