Harvard Library’s Borrow Direct leads to better, deeper, richer service

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Harvard’s new Borrow Direct service enables the University’s faculty, staff, and students to borrow books and other circulating library materials from the libraries of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale when they’re not available at Harvard.

The new service, which the Library “soft-launched” in June, is reflects the Library’s mandate to collaborate ambitiously with its peers.

“This is a significant step in collaboration for Harvard,” says Helen Shenton, executive director of the Harvard Library. “We are delighted to be joining forces with our peers in order to provide a better, deeper, and richer service for all of our patrons.”

By logging on to the Borrow Direct catalog with a Harvard ID and PIN, library patrons can request

  • books that normally circulate from the Borrow Direct “partner collections”
  • books owned by Harvard, but currently checked out

Materials requested through Borrow Direct generally arrive within four business days at one of the 14 user-designated pickup points across the University.

“Borrow Direct is a dedicated service among a small subset of the nation’s best research libraries,” states Matthew Sheehy, the Harvard Library’s head of Access Services. “Borrow Direct is a partnership among peers who provide a customer service level that’s above and beyond traditional interlibrary loan services. “