Borrow Direct from the Ivies

UChicago faculty, students and staff can now borrow books and other circulating materials from the libraries of Ivy League universities and MIT through Borrow Direct

The University of Chicago Library joined the Borrow Direct partnership in June and began beta testing the service in August and September, successfully developing procedures for delivering books to UChicago users in approximately four business days—far more rapidly than items requested through traditional interlibrary loan.

Borrow Direct 150pxBorrow Direct can be used to gain rapid access to books that are either not owned by the Library or that are checked out or otherwise unavailable from the University of Chicago Library. The service provides access to more than 50 million volumes from the circulating collections of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Penn, Princeton, and Yale. It works very much like UBorrow, a consortial borrowing program that rapidly delivers materials from other CIC (Big Ten) libraries.

Borrow Direct materials can be kept for up to 12 weeks, unless recalled by the lending library. Standard borrowing policies—including fines and account blocks—apply to overdue Borrow Direct items, and renewals are not permitted.

Four ways to search Borrow Direct

Library users can access materials through Borrow Direct in four ways:

  1. Visit the Borrow Direct catalog directly.
  2. Use the searchbox on the Library homepage.
  3. Click on the “FindIt!” button from within Library resources like WorldCat and select the Borrow Direct option.
  4. In Lens, click on “Request via Borrow Direct” for checked out items.

For more detailed information visit our Borrow Direct library guide.

Why Borrow Direct?

“The Borrow Direct partnership will provide rapid and increased access to rich collections held by our peer institutions, thus helping to connect our students and scholars with the composite wealth of these collections,” said Judith Nadler, Director and University Librarian at the University of Chicago.  “At the same time, the project will provide a venue to explore future models for shared collection building that include both print and digital forms.”

Announcement of Chicago’s participation in Borrow Direct has already been well received on campus.  “Both personally and on behalf of the faculty and students of the art history department, I want to thank you and your staff for negotiating for Chicago to enter the Borrow Direct program,” Professor Christine Mehring, Chair of the Department of Art History, wrote Nadler upon reading the news. “Having used it frequently while I was a faculty member at Yale, I know colleagues and students will benefit from it greatly and daily.”

The launch of Borrow Direct at the University of Chicago is made possible by a generous gift from the Rhoades Foundation with the cooperation of Julius Lewis, AB’50, AM’54.            

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