Institutional Borrowing

Libraries may request circulating materials or articles owned by Columbia University Libraries through its Institutional Borrowing program. Individuals who are not affiliated with Columbia University Libraries must submit requests through their local university, corporate, or community library.

To borrow materials from Columbia University Libraries, verify that Columbia owns the item by searching CLIO. If the material has a status of "not checked out," submit one Institutional Request Form per item online. This form replaces all ALA, CLA, IFLA, bibliographic records, and other types of paper forms. Requests via e-mail, fax, telephone, mail, or Ariel are not accepted.

Columbia University Libraries cannot place holds on items that are unavailable or provide rush service for borrowed materials. We reserve the right to deny any request for any reason. Recalled items must be returned within three days.


Libraries that are located in the United States and Canada and associated with a non-profit institution are invoiced US$15.00 per filled request. All other libraries associated with non-profit institutions are invoiced US$32.00 (or 3 full IFLA vouchers) per filled loan request and US$15.00 (or 1 full IFLA voucher) per filled copy request. Your invoice will arrive two to three weeks after you receive your requested item. Payment can be made with IFLA vouchers, credit card, money orders (for U.S. libraries only), or checks made out in U.S. dollars. Please contact the Interlibrary Loan office at (212) 854-7535 or to arrange for credit card payment, or with any other questions regarding lending policies.

Examples of non-profit libraries are

  • Academic libraries
  • Public libraries
  • Hospital, clinic, and medical libraries
  • Social, cultural, and religious institutions

Libraries associated with for-profit institutions are invoiced at US$100.00 per filled request. Examples of for-profit libraries are:

  • Law firm libraries
  • Bank libraries
  • Publishers