BorrowDirect Book Request and Delivery System Welcomes Four New Partners

New York, August 14, 2002 - Borrow Direct, the rapid book request and delivery system serving Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University, is expanding to include four new partners. This summer Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College and Princeton University will join the highly successful resource sharing initiative that allows faculty, staff and students to search a virtual union catalog and request expedited delivery of circulating items.

Students, faculty, and staff at the seven institutions are able to simultaneously search the catalogs of all seven libraries, and then initiate a loan request that will be transmitted directly to the library that owns the book. With the addition of these four new institutions, the combined virtual catalog will exceed 40 million volumes. The BorrowDirect service may be used for requesting delivery of circulating books that are checked out, not owned, or otherwise unavailable at a person's home library.

Columbia University Deputy Librarian Patricia Renfro said, "We're very pleased that Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth and Princeton will be joining BorrowDirect. Columbia faculty, staff and students have praised the speed, reliability and ease of use of the service." She continued, "With the addition of more rich research collections we'll see a significant increase in the amount of material that is available for request and rapid delivery."

In its first 30 months of operation, faculty, students, and staff at Columbia, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania received more than 22,000 books through BorrowDirect. On average, books were available for use within four calendar days of the placement of the request.

BorrowDirect uses epixtech, Inc.'s Universal Resource Sharing System (URSA) to give users direct on-line borrowing access to the library collections of these major research universities. URSA enables a user to search for books in a virtual union catalog, independent of the local library management system, and view a set of merged results. URSA checks to see if the book is currently available at the person's home library, and if not, directly places a request for loan from a BorrowDirect partner, where staff retrieves the book and ships it via express carrier.

More information about BorrowDirect at Columbia University Libraries is located at: Information is also available on the Library web pages at Penn and Yale.

Columbia University Libraries is the nation's eighth largest academic library system, with 7.5 million volumes, 49,000 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms and other non-print formats. The Library's web site at: is a gateway to the print and electronic collections and services.

For further information contact:

Joyce McDonough
Technical Services and Acquisitions
212 854-4764

written: 08/12/02 KRS