Borrow Direct


Borrow Direct enables current faculty, students and staff from Columbia, Barnard, and Union Theological Seminary to request material from partner libraries.  Log in to your CLIO My Borrowing Account to view items charged out to you: materials are listed with Item Type bdir.

You may request materials from the following institutions:






Johns Hopkins University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)



University of Chicago

University of Pennsylvania


Please check Columbia University Libraries' Access Privileges for eligibility.

Printed books, music scores, DVDs and CDs not available at Columbia, with the following exceptions:

  • Non-circulating materials from other library collections
  • Journal articles or bound journals
  • Microforms can be borrowed only from University of Chicago

Loan Periods and Returns: Sixteen (16) weeks and not renewable.  Contact if you have any questions or require assistance.

Recalls: All Borrow Direct books are subject to recall by the lending partner.  Most recalls are for books intended for Reserves.  Please return all recalled items as soon as possible.   

Hold Period: You will be notified by email when your request is available for pick-up.  All items will be held for 7 days at the selected delivery locations.   

Turnaround Time: The expected time from request to availaibility is 3-5 business days.  A business day for the Libraries is Monday to Friday, excluding University Holidays. 

Notification Emails: Notices will be sent to the email address on record when item is ready for pick-up.  To confirm your email address, check My Borrowing Account and click the blue "View Personal Information" button; please contact if your email address needs to be updated.

Request delivery to any of the following libraries:

  • Avery Library
  • Barnard Library
  • Burke Library [UTS]
  • Business Library (Uris)
  • Business Library (Manhattanville)
  • Butler Library
  • East Asian Library (Starr)
  • Health Sciences
  • Journalism Library
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Lehman Library
  • Mathematics Library
  • Music Library
  • Science & Engineering Library
  • Social Work Library

To request scans or loans that are outside the scope of Borrow Direct use Interlibrary Loan or consult the Request Items & Services webpage. 

Having trouble deciding between Borrow Direct and ILL?  Compare services.

  • At this time, library staff encourage users to use CLIO as the first-stage of discovery
  • All available Offsite collections are deliverable within 1-2 business days
  • Unavailable collections will provide a link to Borrow Direct, look for the Pick-Up (Borrow Direct) hyperlink.
  • Click on the "Pick-Up (Borrow Direct)" link in CLIO and enter your Columbia University Network ID (UNI) and password.  
  • Enter your search term(s) in the single Simple Search box, or click on Advanced Search for more options.  Advanced Search gives you the option to:
    • search by keyword, author, title, subject and/or ISBN
    • combine two or more search types, e.g. author & title or keyword & subject
    • limit your search to "ALL Terms", "ANY Terms", or "NO Terms"
    • Use search tools such as wildcard symbol (*) or fuzzy search (~)
  • For permission to place requests, click on the "Institutional Login" at the top-right of the screen
  • All lendable copies will display a "Request" button.  Note: You may have to scroll down to see all available copies.
  • If the item is requestable via Borrow Direct, click "Request" and select a pick-up location from the drop-down list
  • Include a pertinent note if necessary in the Volume(s) Needed field.  Please note that due to system limitations, only 1 volume of a multi-volume set can be delivered per request.  If you need multiple volumes, or the entire set, submit subsequent requests detailing the volume numbers.
  • A request submission message will display, including your request number.
  • An e-mail confirmation of your request will be sent to you, generally within a few minutes.  Save the e-mail and request number in case you wish to check on the status of your request at a later time.  Another e-mail will be sent to alert you when the item is available for pickā€“up.
  • Please log out.  Make sure to click on the Log Out link that appears at the top-right of the Borrow Direct screen to ensure your privacy and the security of the system.

Phone: 212-854-7535