Important news and info resources during the COVID-19 period:
Library Status Updates highlights currently available services and resources
COVID-19 Resource Guide for the Columbia Community features health resources, news, and university alerts
BorrowDirect is the quickest option for physical delivery. Turnaround time is 3 to 5 days, books arrive at the library front desk under the borrower's name. Students, faculty, and staff can use BorrowDirect to request books from select institutions. Loan period is sixteen (16) weeks, no renewals.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is the second best choice and similar to BorrowDirect -- books typically arrive within one to two weeks. Loan periods vary by institution. ILL also offers a scanning service. *This guide has more information about the difference between BorrowDirect and ILL.
ReCAP/Offsite is our storage facility, from which books and other materials can be delivered in 1 day. ReCAP stands for "Research Collections and Preservation" and operates jointly between Columbia, Princeton University, and the New York Public Library.
Scan & Deliver is a service that lets students, faculty, and staff request small portions of books to be scanned and sent electronically from other Columbia University Libraries via their email accounts (for those who prefer not to walk across campus).
Pick-Up is a new service developed in the COVID-19 pandemic response, enabling current faculty, students, and staff to request pick up of library materials at participating library locations.
The following services are all available to students and staff of Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University. See the Access page for full guidelines.
If all copies are checked out:
If all copies of the item owned in Columbia University Libraries are checked out, the option to request from BorrowDirect and ILL will appear in the CLIO record for that item.
Click "BorrowDirect" or "ILL" to have it delivered to the library front desk.
If copies are available from Offsite (ReCAP):
If there are copies available at our Offsite facility (called ReCAP), then the option to request the item to be delivered from Offsite will appear.
Click "Offsite" to have it delivered to the library front desk in 2 business days.
If copies are available at another Columbia library that can scan part of it:
If there is a copy available in another Columbia University Library, there may be an option to have 1-2 chapters scanned and delivered electronically. Check the item's information record to access its Table of Contents and select which chapters you wish to have scanned and delivered.
Click "Scan & Deliver" to request this option.
If no copies are held at any Columbia location/not found in catalog:
TIP: Try re-typing your search. (CLIO does not auto-correct, so misspelled words will not yield accurate results.)
If no results are found, CLIO will offer the following options to get the item(s) from another library: BorrowDirect, and Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Also try using WorldCat.org (a powerful tool that searches across hundreds of thousands of public, academic, and private libraries around the globe).
Students and staff can also recommend a title for purchase.
What about delivery between Columbia University Library locations?
There is no delivery service among the Columbia University Libraries locations. To get a physical copy of a book available at Butler, Lehman, Avery, etc., it is necessary to visit the location in person. This map shows all 22 library locations, and here are their hours.