Borrow It Now
BorrowItNow is an enhancement of traditional interlibrary loan that enables you to search for and request books directly from libraries of the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), a consortium of 33 research libraries located in the central and western United States.
BorrowItNow is based on the Relais International D2D product. BorrowItNow allows library users to discover and request library materials via a virtual union catalog, which spans across all participating members’ integrated library systems.
Why should I use BorrowItNow?
Using BorrowItNow will enable you to obtain books and other returnable materials (dvds, cds, microfilm, etc.) more quickly than using traditional interlibrary loan methods. We estimate that the BorrowItNow system will allow us to obtain your items 2-3 days faster than before. One goal of this pilot project is to determine if we are indeed able to speed up the receipt of needed research items.
How do I submit a request?
- Connect to BorrowItNow directly, or, use Find More! from the library catalog.
- Enter your search terms in the simple search box or click on Advanced Search for more options.
- Select the record you want from the results list. Note that you can use the search filters on the left to refine your search.
- When viewing the full record for a single item, you will see holdings and availability various GWLA libraries (this may take a fw seconds to load). If copies are available for ILL, you will see a Request this link.
- Af clicking Request this, you will be taken to a screen to login to your ILLIad (ILL) account. Login, or, if you have not used ILLiad before, register as a first-time user.
- After entering your credentials, the ILLiad loan request form will appear with all of the relevant bibliographic information already filled in.
- Click the “Submit Request” button and that’s it!
- Sit back and wait for your item to arrive! You will receive the usual ILLiad email notification.
Why are we doing this?
The University Libraries are members of the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA). GWLA developed a three-year pilot project during which member libraries will test and refine the system. Relais, the vendor of the BorrowItNow system, and GWLA are already working on some enhancements that will improve the user experience.
What’s so different about this pilot?
BorrowItNow provides for unmediated requests. The system transmits real time availability and call numbers to the lending library, while balancing request loads across the membership so that one library does not bear all of the burden. It is the item availability piece that is unique. Until now, libraries have not been able to tell if another library’s copy of a particular item is checked out. Real time item availability data allows the system to avoid requesting from a library where the item is not available. This means that requests are processed more quickly and items arrive at their destination sooner.
On the borrowing side, the requests are sent without any human intervention. ILL staff do not even know the item has been requested until it arrives in our office.
On the lending side, requests arrive with call number and location data in the proper fields of the request form. The benefits for lending processing are:
- We do not have to check the library catalog to see if we own the item.
- We do not have to look up the item in the library catalog and copy and paste the call number into the ILLiad request form.
This results in a savings of hundreds of keystrokes every day!
Send your comments about the BorrowItNow program to Tess Gibson, Head of Interlibrary Loan.