Cooperative collection building with the Ivy League: Enabled by Julius Lewis

University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff are now borrowing circulating materials on an expedited basis from the libraries of Ivy League universities and MIT as a result of the University of Chicago Library’s participation in the Borrow Direct consortium, which began this summer.

Borrow Direct 150pxOver time, Borrow Direct will facilitate more than rapid collection sharing. “The Borrow Direct project provides a venue to explore future models for shared collection building that include both print and digital forms,” explained Judith Nadler, Director and University Librarian.

The launch of Borrow Direct at the University of Chicago was made possible by a generous gift from the Rhoades Foundation with the cooperation of Julius Lewis, AB’50, AM’54. When asked why support for libraries is important, Lewis answered on a grand scale: “Libraries contain civilization.” A life member of the Library Visiting Committee, which he joined in 1985, he has donated annually to the University of Chicago since 1971. 

Announcement of Chicago’s participation in Borrow Direct was 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.”

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