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UBorrow: About UBorrow

Search for over 90 million books from the catalogs of the CIC libraries and the Center for Research Libraries.

Advantages of UBorrow

Search and request books from 15 major research libraries.

Receive books faster than with recalls or interlibrary loan.

Keep books longer than with interlibrary loan.

Books will not be recalled except under unusual circumstances.

Who Can Use UBorrow?

UBorrow is available to current University of Iowa students, faculty, and staff.

Arrival Time

Requested books usually arrive within 1 week.

An email notification is sent once requests are available.

Loan Periods & Renewals

Print Books

Loan period: 17 weeks

Other formats

Loan period and renewals for other formats varies by owning library.


Items will only be recalled under unusual circumstances, such as an item being needed by the owning library for course reserve. Borrowers will be notified by email if an item is recalled.

What is UBorrow?

When you quickly need items that are currently unavailable from the University of Iowa Libraries or are not owned by the Library, search UBorrow. UBorrow enables you to search for and request books directly from 15 major research libraries, with combined collections of more than 90 million volumes:

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

UBorrow is a service of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, which is comprised of the universities of the Big Ten Conference plus the University of Chicago.

What Can Be Borrowed?

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 the University of Iowa Libraries
  • Currently unavailable from the University of Iowa Libraries -- checked out, missing, on reserve, or on order.

If an item is available at the University of Iowa Libraries, UBorrow will give you the call number and location of the item and direct you to Smart Search 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 Interlibrary Loan. (Loan periods and delivery times for Interlibrary Loan requests will vary.)

Amy Paulus

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Amy Paulus
Head, Access Services

University of Iowa Main Library

319-335-5916 (phone)