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Live Today at Harvard: Borrow Direct

June 13, 2011—As of today, Harvard's new Borrow Direct service enables the University's faculty, staff, and students to borrow books and other circulating library materials that are not available at Harvard from the libraries of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale.

Harvard's participation in Borrow Direct is the result of an agreement signed by the University in January 2011. "With thousands of new titles entering circulation every year, we must develop alliances with other libraries and cultural institutions to ensure full access for Harvard's patrons to the world's scholarly resources," Provost Steven E. Hyman has noted. "Harvard's participation in Borrow Direct is a strategic alliance among our peers that will benefit users at Harvard and at each of our partner institutions."

Members of the Harvard community can use their current IDs, PINs, and established library privileges to place Borrow Direct requests online and receive expedited delivery of:

  • books and printed music not owned by Harvard libraries
  • books and printed music that are currently unavailable at Harvard; e.g., charged out, lost, missing, at the bindery, etc.
  • books and printed music that normally circulate from the Borrow Direct partner collections

Most Borrow Direct materials will arrive within four business days. Individual borrowers will receive an e-mail notice when a requested item is available and will be given the option of choosing one of 14 pickup locations:

  • Andover-Harvard Theological Library
  • Baker/Knowledge and Library Services
  • Cabot Science Library
  • Countway Library of Medicine
  • Fine Arts Library
  • Gutman Library
  • Harvard Kennedy School Library and Knowledge Services
  • Harvard Law School Library
  • Harvard-Yenching Library
  • Lamont Library
  • Loeb Design Library
  • Tozzer Library
  • Widener Library
  • Wolbach/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Patrons may return their Borrow Direct materials to any Harvard Library.

Today's announcement marks the first stage in a phased implementation in which Harvard patrons can borrow from peer institutions in Borrow Direct. By late July, Harvard will in turn become a Borrow Direct lender, offering to other Borrow Direct patrons access to collections in the Countway Library of Medicine, Andover-Harvard Theological Library, and Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library, and to holdings for those libraries held at the Harvard Depository.

More information can be found here.


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