January 27, 2011

Cornell Gains Access to 25 Million More Volumes

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On Monday, Cornell students gained access to 25 million more volumes as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology joined Borrow Direct, a program Cornell uses to borrow books and other materials from other institutions.Harvard was the last of the Ivies to join the program and MIT became the first non-Ivy to join, The Yale Daily News reported. This will increase the number of volumes available to University students from more than 45 million to almost 70 million, according to Cornell Library’s website. Cornell faculty and students filed more than 21,000 requests to Borrow Direct in 2010, according to the website.Materials are available at Cornell within four working days of the request and can be borrowed for six weeks, with the option for another six-week renewal, according to the University. The borrowed items are subject to recall by the owning libraries, and they are subject to the same overdue fines as Cornell-owned books. While the system has existed for about a decade, Borrow Direct just recently developed the capabilities to integrate Harvard and MIT’s libraries into the system, the Daily News reported.  According to The Harvard Crimson, a 2009 Harvard task force cited costs at the main obstacle to joining the consortium, but new software has removed that barrier.  Harvard may also have been concerned about excessive borrowing from its library, The Dartmouth reported.  Other changes to Borrow Direct include faster and more advanced search options.

Original Author: Laura Shepard