PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 11, 2013) - The number of books available at Penn Libraries will increase in the fall when the University of Chicago joins BorrowDirect. Faculty, students, and staff of BorrowDirect institutions can perform a single search of the combined library catalogs to request expedited delivery of circulating items that are not currently available at their own institutions.

Chicago will join Penn, the seven other Ivy League institutions, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the BorrowDirect partnership. With the addition of Chicago, the circulating collections of the Borrow Direct libraries include more than 50 million volumes. More than 1.5 million items have been shared across the partnership since BorrowDirect was initiated in 1999. 

Penn is one of three founding members of the partnership that was originally called CoPY, an acronym for Columbia, Penn, and Yale. Penn borrows around 34,000 items a year through BorrowDirect and lends around 24,000 items a year to partner libraries, thus making Penn the second highest borrower this year (behind Yale) and the third highest lender (behind Dartmouth and Yale). The turnaround time from request to receipt of materials is about four days at Penn. 

Currently, 94% of all BorrowDirect requests are filled through the system and the remainder move on to other Resource Sharing platforms for fulfillment. The addition of the University of Chicago will increase fulfillment as they add more materials to BorrowDirect.

BorrowDirect is accessible on the Penn Libraries’ website at For further information about BorrowDirect, contact Bob Krall, Director, Logistics and Access Services, or Peter Collins, Assistant Project Manager, BorrowDirect,, who oversee operations for the BorrowDirect partnership.