UBorrow: rapid loans from 13 research libraries

New UBorrow service provides campus delivery of books from regional research libraries in less than a week

The Library is launching a new service called UBorrow that offers rapid access to over 90 million books from the collections of 12 university libraries in the Midwest and the nearby Center for Research Libraries.  Books requested through UBorrow will typically arrive on campus within a week and can be checked out for 12 weeks, with an option for a 4-week renewal.

Like Interlibrary Loan, but faster and more predictable

University of Chicago faculty, students and staff can search for books directly at lib.uchicago.edu/h/ub or by following the UBorrow link in the FindIt menu within many Library resources, such as WorldCat and ArticlesPlus. In addition, Lens will display a “Request via UBorrow” link for any item that is checked out from the Library’s collections.

UBorrow searches the catalogs of participating libraries simultaneously.  If it finds that the University of Chicago Library already owns a copy of a desired title, it will give you the location and call number, so that you can retrieve the copy.  If a UBorrow library can supply a copy, you will be allowed to place a request for the item.  If a book is not available through UBorrow, you will be given the option to request it from additional libraries via traditional interlibrary loan.

Before you recall, UBorrow

In many cases, UBorrow provides a better option than recalling a checked out book from another user. You are likely to receive a book faster through UBorrow than by recalling it, and you can use the book without worrying that you are inconveniencing someone else. Perhaps best of all, books obtained from UBorrow will not be recalled before their due date, except under unusual circumstances (e.g., a book is needed for course reserve at the lending library).  UBorrow has the potential to dramatically reduce the frequency of “recall wars” that occur when multiple Library users vie for the same titles.

It is particularly easy to use Lens to request a book that has been checked out, as the “Request via UBorrow” link in the Lens record will automatically launch a search for that item in the UBorrow catalog. Since links to UBorrow are contained in Lens but not in the Library Catalog, users of the Library Catalog who discover a book is checked out are encouraged to visit UBorrow at lib.uchicago.edu/h/ub to search for the item.

Who is loaning the books?

University of Chicago has established this consortial borrowing program with the University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as the Center for Research Libraries.  The relative proximity of our partners, as well as the commitments made by each institution, allow books to be delivered through UBorrow far more rapidly than they usually are through our traditional interlibrary loan program.

Get started with UBorrow

To start using UBorrow, simply go to lib.uchicago.edu/h/ub. For more information, visit our online guide to UBorrow.

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