The University Record, January 8, 2001

MITS marks 20 years of service

By Wanda Monroe
University Library

Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services
For the past 20 years, businesses that need copies of articles and documents quickly have relied on the services provided by MITS—the Michigan Information Transfer Source. Articles on such topics as on “how humidity affects injection molding” and requests for “lists of the major competitors in Southeast Asia” are just a sampling of the 234,000 inquiries received by MITS over the past two decades.

A fee-based information retrieval service in the University Library, MITS provides articles, books, conference papers, technical reports, patents, government documents, maps, abstracts, dissertations and other materials to businesses.

As a unit of one of the largest academic research libraries in the United States, MITS has direct access to the U-M’s collections—seven million volumes; more than 100,000 journal and periodical titles; over

3,000 annual and 10K corporate reports; federal, state and foreign government documents; and a variety of other valuable information resources.

“Businesses from around the country request materials they need, our information professionals locate the information, and we then deliver it to the workplace—as quickly as three hours from the time of the request,” says Anne Beaubien, librarian, head of Cooperative Access Services and MITS executive director. “Some businesses choose to build their own libraries, others see the profitability of using our services in addition to their own. Because we have a vast amount of resources available and talented staff to retrieve the information requested, we can quickly and accurately respond to the requests.”

With easy access to a rich collection in such subject areas as medicine, engineering, biology, chemistry, natural resources and the automotive industry, among others, MITS offers next-day rush, same-day rush and three-hour rush delivery. Articles can be delivered via an express courier or the U.S. Postal Service or by fax. They also can be delivered to a secured Web site. Those who elect to receive documents via the Web may receive them much faster than an expedited courier at no additional charge.

Mike Reilly, attorney with the Hourigan Kluger law firm in Pennsylvania and frequent user of the MITS services, notes, “Samuel Johnson once stated that, ‘Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information about it.’ Over the past decade, I have personally come to view MITS as an invaluable and trustworthy key to unlocking the door to the universe of information.”

For information about MITS services, visit the Web at www.lib.umich.edu/libhome/services/mits/index.html or call (734) 763-5060.