Q. On the order form, why do I need to say which class or course this is for?
First, please know that your personal information (name and email) gets deleted. No one can or will know what you've ordered.
We maintain the following information from the requests: status (faculty, student, or staff), order information (title, author, date, lending library, etc.) and course information (or personal reading, etc).
We use this information to create reports and statistics in our efforts to improve the service and our library's collection. It helps the ILL librarian see patterns instead of a randomness in requested materials. If we see a marked increase in personal reading, then we can address better access to newer books or book series.
But also, the course information helps in ordering the item. If a patron asks for a children's book title (say, on Gandhi) and is in an upper level history class, the librarian can flag it as a possible mis-type. As well, if the patron asks for the book, "Gathering Storm" (which has many results), it helps if the librarian knows if it's a music or fiction or religious text.
We treat all orders fairly and equally. Noting "personal reading" will get your item just a quickly as noting a class # or faculty research.