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Borrow Direct: An FAQ for Harvard Library Staff

Updated August 16, 2011

 

1. What is Borrow Direct (BD)?
2. How is Borrow Direct different from Interlibrary Loan?
3. When will Borrow Direct be available to Harvard users?
4. When will Harvard lend material through Borrow Direct?
5. Which Harvard libraries will lend through Borrow Direct?
6. When will other Harvard libraries become lenders?
7. How does Borrow Direct work?
8. What can be requested through Borrow Direct?
9. What cannot be requested through Borrow Direct?
10. How will materials be delivered?
11. Which libraries will serve as Borrow Direct pickup locations?
12. Is there a fee for requesting items through Borrow Direct?
13. How long can I keep the material that I borrow through Borrow Direct?
14. How are Borrow Direct materials returned?
15. Who will be leading Harvard's implementation of Borrow Direct?
16. Who will represent Harvard in Borrow Direct discussions about collection development?
17. How can I learn more about this service?
18. In describing Borrow Direct to our patrons, is there recommended language that we can use?
19. Are there other publications available that may be helpful to patrons?
20. Does Harvard Mobile include information on Borrow Direct and Get It?
 

1. What is Borrow Direct (BD)?

Borrow Direct is a rapid book request and delivery system. It enables current Harvard faculty, staff, and students to search the library catalogs of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale—an aggregate collection of over 50 million volumes—and to directly request expedited delivery of circulating items from non-Harvard locations.

NEW MIT is a member of the Borrow Direct partnership. MIT's participation in Borrow Direct is expected to begin later in the fall of 2011.

2. How is Borrow Direct different from Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan requires library staff mediation to submit a request. With the Borrow Direct service, patrons will be able to place requests online without library staff mediation. Materials received from another Borrow Direct library will be checked out to the patron's Harvard Library account.

3. When will Borrow Direct be available to Harvard users?

NEW Borrow Direct was launched for Harvard borrowers on June 13. Harvard borrowers can see links in the HOLLIS catalog and from other library web pages that will help them navigate to the Borrow Direct catalog.

4. When will Harvard lend material through Borrow Direct?

NEW Additional system development was required to integrate Aleph with the Borrow Direct system. We are currently testing the software and development continues. We anticipate a late September launch.

5. Which Harvard libraries will lend through Borrow Direct?

The initial launch of Borrow Direct at Harvard will be limited to a few lending libraries, as we test service models and determine the best-practice approach prior to expanding lending from other Harvard libraries. The collections included in the initial implementation will include: Countway, Divinity, Widener, and the collections for those libraries held at HD. However, regardless of whether a library is participating as a loaning library, their patrons will be eligible to request items via Borrow Direct.

6. NEW When will other Harvard libraries become lenders?

We plan to assess and evaluate the models in place for lending for approximately six months, at which time we will begin to add other Harvard lending libraries. Decisions regarding the order in which those libraries will be added have not be determined.

7. How does Borrow Direct work?

Members of the Harvard community use their current IDs, PINs, and established library privileges to place Borrow Direct requests online through the BD catalog interface. When the book is received at Harvard, users will receive a message that the material is available for pickup and the book will be checked out directly to the patron in Aleph.

8. What can be requested through Borrow Direct?

  • 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 BD partner collections

9. What cannot be requested through Borrow Direct?

  • books and printed music currently available for loan at Harvard
  • journals, magazines, newspapers, and other serials
  • photocopies of articles or other materials
  • reference books, microfilm, and other non-circulating materials
  • audiovisual materials (DVDs, videos, CDs with some exceptions)
  • electronic books, journals, and other e-resources
  • special collections and/or rare materials

10. How will materials be delivered?

Most materials will arrive within four business days. Individual borrowers will receive an e-mail notice when a requested item is available for pickup. Harvard patrons are given the option of choosing one of 14 pickup locations.

11. Which libraries will serve as Borrow Direct pickup locations?

The following Harvard libraries will serve as pickup locations for Borrow Direct:

  • 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-Smithosonian Center for Astrophysics

These libraries all currently have daily (Monday–Friday) University Mail Services delivery/pickups.

12. Is there a fee for requesting items through Borrow Direct?

This service is free of charge to library patrons.

13. How long can I keep the material that I borrow through Borrow Direct?

Six weeks, subject to recall by the owning library. A one-time renewal for an additional six weeks is generally available.

14. How are Borrow Direct materials returned?

Patrons may return their Borrow Direct materials to any Harvard library, which, in turn, will deliver the material to Widener through Harvard University Mail Services. Widener will batch all returned items for shipment to the lending institution.

15. Who will be leading Harvard's implementation of Borrow Direct?

Helen Shenton has charged a project board with leading the Library's Borrow Direct implementation. Members of the project board include: Marilyn Wood (Harvard College Library), chair; David Osterbur (Countway); Ken Peterson (Harvard College Library); Tracey Robinson (Office for Information Systems); Matthew Sheehy (Harvard Depository); and Suzanne Wones (Harvard Law School Library).

16. Who will represent Harvard in Borrow Direct discussions about collection development?

Dan Hazen (Harvard College Library) will be the liaison to the BD Collection Development group and will consult widely across the Harvard Library.

17. How can I learn more about this service?

This FAQ will be updated as planning for implementation continues. It is posted on the Borrow Direct iSite: http://isites.harvard.edu/k78982. The iSite provides additional information about Borrow Direct as well as options for submitting feedback or questions. You may also contact members of the project board.

18. NEW In describing Borrow Direct to our patrons, is there recommended language that we can use?

Yes. Please link to the Overview for Library Patrons located at http://lib.harvard.edu/libraries/bdpatron.html.

Feel free to provide the link to patrons. In addition, the language is modular: borrow and/or recycle from it in any way that helps to meet the needs of your patrons.

19. NEW Are there other publications available that may be helpful to patrons?

Yes. The Harvard Library Online is a linked PDF document located at http://hul.harvard.edu/publications/libraryonline.pdf. HLO provides important information on Borrow Direct and the other "Get It" services, access to the Harvard Library and HCL portal pages, linked information about additional library tools and services, and links to a selection of web-accessible collections.

Feel free to distribute the PDF widely.

To request hard copies of The Harvard Library Online, please contact library_admin@harvard.edu.

20. NEW Does Harvard Mobile include information on Borrow Direct and Get It?

At this time, users of the Library Module on Harvard Mobile (http://m.harvard.edu) will not find access points for Borrow Direct or the "Get It" services. We expect to fold these services into the next iteration of Harvard Mobile later in the academic year.

In the interim, the Library has created a freestanding, mobile-friendly "Get It" page with links to HOLLIS, Borrow Direct, Scan and Deliver, and Interlibrary Loan. The mobile-friendly "Get It" page is located at http://hul.harvard.edu/m/getit.

Borrow Direct iSite

May 20 version
March 15 version
February 28 version

 

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