BorrowDirect Service Temporarily Suspended
On March 16, 2020, the BorrowDirect service was temporarily suspended. At the time of the decision, eleven of the thirteen libraries had suspended resource sharing activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the service could not be reasonably supported. We thank the entire BorrowDirect practitioner community for their swift work that ensured a mutually supportive, transparent, and orderly process.
While the BorrowDirect service is on hold, our BorrowDirect work continues. Our primary task during this interim period is to plan and prepare to transition back to normal operations as soon as possible. The Resource Sharing Group and BorrowDirect Operations Group is actively developing a clear set of guidelines, priorities, and suggested procedures that should remain constant in any scenario. The guidelines will include:
- Assessing Readiness. Suggesting criteria to help libraries determine whether they are ready to resume Borrowing and Lending operations (e.g., open mailrooms, adequate staffing, users’ ability to pick up and return materials). This will include options for libraries that are online-only, partially-open (staff, only), or fully open (staff and users).
- Action Checklists. Creating a Resuming BorrowDirect Operations Checklists (e.g., retrieving items from UPS storage, recalling items needed immediately for reserves, updating due dates).
- Materials Handling Recommendations. Suggesting optimal quarantine periods for BorrowDirect materials shipped via UPS or returned by users. Suggestions will reflect information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), medical schools (e.g., Harvard and Johns Hopkins), the American Library Association (ALA), and other professional organizations.
- Communication. Identifying optimal methods of communication and decision-making (e.g., virtual meetings, listservs, support tickets, configuration changes).
We are actively monitoring coronavirus/COVID-19 response information provided by local, national, and international sources. We will update this information as often as possible as the situation unfolds.
BorrowDirect Resource Sharing Service
Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation’s flagship program, BorrowDirect, enables faculty, students, and researchers at participating libraries to discover, request, and rapidly receive physical materials from 13 of the world’s premier library collections. Founded in 1999 by Columbia University Libraries, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and Yale University Library, the program grew to include the libraries of Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago. Drawing on a collective collection of over 90 million items, members have supplied over 3 million items to their collective library users since 1999. Request activity has steadily increased and exceeded 285,000 transactions in fiscal year 2019. In order to support resource sharing activity at this scale, BorrowDirect libraries leverage automated workflows, expedited delivery, and a deep commitment to extraordinary user service.
The BorrowDirect program is managed by the Director of Resource Sharing Initiatives and the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation’s Resource Sharing Group.