The MIT Libraries have joined the libraries of Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Yale University and Harvard University in the Borrow Direct Library Partnership — an agreement that gives Institute community members access to nearly 50 million items from those school's libraries.
Borrow Direct, an expedited delivery system for sharing books between participating libraries, allows faculty, students and staff of member institutions to request circulating materials directly from the library where they are held. Requested materials are delivered to the borrowing patron’s library usually within several business days. Approximately 1 million items have been shared across the partnership since it was initiated in 1999, and MIT and Harvard are the latest members to join Borrow Direct and will begin officially participating in the service in 2011.
“The strength of the combined collections of the outstanding libraries represented in Borrow Direct will be a tremendous asset to our community and to library users across the cooperative,” said MIT Director of Libraries Ann Wolpert. “We are pleased to be able to join our peers in contributing to the significant depth of this valuable service.”
The new agreement expands upon already existing borrowing programs in which the MIT Libraries participate, including the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), a cooperative of academic and research libraries in the greater Boston area that gives MIT access to and on-site use of more than a dozen university libraries in the region.
Last April, the MIT Libraries also expanded reciprocal borrowing with Harvard College Library in a pilot program that extended borrowing privileges, already given to graduate students and faculty, to undergraduate students at both institutions.
More information about using Borrow Direct will be available as the MIT Libraries implement the service and add it to the many online services accessible through the Libraries’ website at libraries.mit.edu.