My understanding is that the InterLibrary loan is now known as “The Internet”. But I might be mistaken. Regardless, they are important to fabric of western life, says this LitHub article.
InterLibrary Loan services are sometimes included in library budget cuts—the perception being that the service is not essential—but as Heather Robinson, chief executive of the St. Thomas Public Library in St. Thomas, Ontario said when their service was cut, the loss of InterLibrary Loan affects rural communities the most. The same is true in America—where swaths of people need libraries for internet access, let alone the wealth of knowledge afforded by a book sharing service. InterLibrary Loan is also essential for the democratization of research: you would be hard-pressed to find an acknowledgments page in a book of academic scholarship that doesn’t include the phrase “interlibrary loan.”
I grew up in rural Ontario and this was never even presented as an option to me. So I got a job at Coles and used my discount to fill my room with “liturniture” (piles of books which I used as everything from coffee tables to chairs.) Also, my library didn’t look like this ^^. It looked like Costco shelving in a 1970s rec room reno.