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Use UBorrow to search for and request books directly from 13 major research libraries.
Last Updated: Oct 1, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

About UBorrow Print Page

Advantages of UBorrow

Search and request books from 13 major research libraries.

Receive books faster than with recalls or interlibrary loan.

Keep books longer than with interlibrary loan.

Books will not be recalled except under unusual circumstances.


What is UBorrow?

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

UBorrow enables you to search for and request books directly from 13 major research libraries, with combined collections of more than 90 million volumes.

UBorrow is a service of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which is comprised of the universities of the Big Ten Conference plus the University of Chicago. For more information, see the Library News feature on UBorrow.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use UBorrow? 

  • Current University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff

How do I use UBorrow?

How quickly do requests arrive?

  • Books usually arrive within one week.
  • An email notification is sent once requests are available.

Loan Periods & Renewals

Print Books

  • Initial loan period: 12 weeks
  • Renewals: an additional 4 weeks

Other formats

  • Loan period and renewals for other formats varies by owning library.


Items will only be recalled under unusual circumstances, such as an item being needed by the owning library for course reserve. Borrowers will be notified by email if an item is recalled.

Fines & Blocks

Standard interlibrary loan borrowing policies -- including fines and account blocks -- apply to overdue UBorrow items.

What can be borrowed?

You may request print books 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

and available (e.g. not checked out) in circulation collections of participating UBorrow libraries.

If an item is available at the University of Chicago Library, UBorrow 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 UBorrow libraries are unavailable, UBorrow will enable you request the item from a non-UBorrow library via Interlibrary Loan. (Loan periods and delivery times for Interlibrary Loan requests will vary.)


How Do Library Delivery Services Compare?

BorrowDirectUBorrowInterlibrary 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 50 million 90 million 300 million
Number of libraries 10 15 72,000

Library Delivery Services

Click the links below to learn about the Library's delivery services:

Borrow Direct


Scan & Deliver

Interlibrary Loan




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

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