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Do You Order Books Using ILL? Try UBorrow


UBorrow is a new expedited book request service that promises fast turnaround times for book borrowing outside the NU Library system.

When you quickly need items that are currently unavailable from the Galter Health Sciences Library or are not owned by another Northwestern University library, search UBorrow. UBorrow enables you to search for and request books directly from 13 major research libraries, with combined collections of more than 90 million volumes. Books requested through UBorrow will typically arrive within one week, which is faster than the average recall process, and will have a loan period of 12 weeks with an optional 4-week renewal.

UBorrow allows you to request books directly from the following libraries:

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Indiana University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nebraska
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Center for Research Libraries

UBorrow is a service of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), which is comprised of the universities of the Big Ten Conference plus the University of Chicago.

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What can be borrowed using UBorrow?

You may request print books that are available (e.g. not checked out) in circulating collections of the participating libraries that are either:

  • Not owned by any Northwestern University library
  • Currently unavailable from any Northwestern University library -- checked out, missing, on reserve, or on order.

If an item is available at a Northwestern University library, UBorrow will give you the call number and location of the item and direct you to the Library Catalog to help you find our local copy.

If all copies held by UBorrow libraries are unavailable, UBorrow will let you request the item from a non-UBorrow library via our regular Interlibrary Loan service.

Note: If the book you want is available on the Chicago Campus, please obtain it directly from the library. If it is available at a NU library in Evanston, please use the regular interlibrary loan service. Otherwise, try UBorrow.

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Updated: September 28, 2023