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Use BorrowDirect to rapidly access to more than 60 million volumes from the Ivies and MIT libraries.

Library Delivery Services

Advantages of BorrowDirect

BorrowDirect banner

  • Search and request books from the Ivies, MIT, Johns Hopkins, and Duke libraries.
  • Receive books in approximately 4 business days (faster than recalling or interlibrary loan).
  • Keep books longer than with interlibrary loan.
  • Extensive collections containing more than 60 million requestable volumes.

What is BorrowDirect?

When you quickly need items that are currently unavailable from the University of Chicago Library or are not owned by the Library, search BorrowDirect.

BorrowDirect enables you to search for and request books directly from the 11 major research libraries of the Ivy League universities, Duke, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and the Center for Research Libraries, with combined collections of more than 60 million volumes.

For more information, see the Library News feature on BorrowDirect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use BorrowDirect?

  • Current University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff

How do I use BorrowDirect?

How quickly do requests arrive?

  • Books usually arrive in approximately 4 business days.
  • An email notification is sent once requests are available.

Loan Periods & Renewals

  • Loan period: 12 weeks
  • No renewals
  • Items may be recalled by lending libraries.


Borrowers will be notified by email if an item is recalled because it is needed by the lending library.

Fines & Blocks

Standard borrowing policies (including fines and account blocks) apply to overdue BorrowDirect items.

What can be borrowed?

You may request circulating materials that are either: 

  • Not owned by the University of Chicago Library
  • Currently unavailable from the University of Chicago Library — checked out, missing, on reserve, or on order

If an item is available at the University of Chicago Library, BorrowDirect will display the call number and location of the item and direct you to the Library Catalog to help you find our local copy.

If all copies held by BorrowDirect libraries are unavailable, the service enables you request the item from a non-BorrowDirect library via Interlibrary Loan. (Loan periods and delivery times for Interlibrary Loan requests will vary.)

How Do Library Delivery Services Compare?

  BorrowDirect UBorrow Interlibrary Loan
Delivery time ~4 business days ~4 business days ~8 business days
Loan / renewal period 12 weeks / none 12 weeks / 4 weeks Varies
Which media? Books & musical scores Books, DVDs, microforms, & musical scores All formats
Number of books 60 million 90 million 300 million
Number of libraries 11 15 72,000

Ask a Librarian

Ask a Librarian
Subjects:Help Guides



Please contact us if you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback about Borrow Direct.