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Gratisnet is a network of special libraries in Australia that commit to document exchange at no charge to each other, and without certainty of balance in supply. Over 250 special libraries in heath and allied fields are members of the network, many of which are too small to participate in the national Inter-library loan (ILL) network. Careful distribution of workloads helps to facilitate participation among large and small libraries. This co-operative model has subsequently been adopted by law, emergency services, transport and government library networks in Australia and New Zealand. This paper looks at the current state of play in Gratisnet and the cooperative factors that distinguish Gratisnet from the national ILL service.
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