January 20, 2022

UBorrow Reduces Recall Requests by 30% at University of Chicago Library

The award winning UBorrow service from the Committee on Institutional Cooperation allows users to search, find, and access books from 13 university libraries in the Midwest and the Center for Research Libraries and have them delivered to campus within a week.  About 90 million volumes are available using UBorrow.

In a recent post, the University of Chicago Library reported that during the past year 2,300 students and faculty members borrowed 10,500 books using UBorrow.

It goes on to say:

The popularity of the new service led to a 30 percent decrease in the number of items recalled from UChicago Library users from the period March 2012 to January 17, 2013 compared with the same period in 2011-12, suggesting that many are choosing not to inconvenience UChicago borrowers when copies can be easily obtained through UBorrow.

In many cases, UBorrow provides a better option than recalling a checked out book or getting it through traditional interlibrary loan, as the book is likely to be received more quickly through UBorrow than through either of these services. As an added benefit, books obtained from UBorrow will not be recalled before their due dates, except under unusual circumstances, such as when a book is needed for course reserve at the lending library.


Thus far, UChicago has been borrowing more books through UBorrow than it has loaned. In fiscal year 2012, UChicago loaned 1,072 items through UBorrow to partner libraries and borrowed 10,540.

The remainder of the post includes comments from three U. of Chicago students about how useful the service is to them.

You can take a look at the University of Chicago UBorrow page here.

See Also: CIC’s UBorrow wins The Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative’s 2012 Innovation Award (July 12, 2012)

List of UBorrow Participants

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Indiana University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Center for Research Libraries
About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.