CIC's UBorrow wins The Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative's 2012 Innovation Award

Jun 20, 2012

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CIC partners develop innovative technical solution to improve consortial borrowing for users

The Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative has announced that the winner of the Rethinking Resource Sharing (RRS) 2012 Innovation Award is UBorrow, a project of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.

This award comes with a $1000 stipend, and honors individuals or institutions for changes they have made to improve users’ access to information through resource sharing in their library, consortium, state or country. The CIC will be recognized for its innovative contribution to resource sharing during the Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies Committee Program at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference. 

UBorrow offers rapid access to over 90 million books from the collections of 13 university libraries in the Midwest and the Center for Research Libraries. Books requested through UBorrow will typically arrive on campus within a week and can be checked out for 12 weeks, with an option for a 4-week renewal. The relative proximity of CIC partners, as well as the commitments made by each institution, allows books to be delivered through UBorrow far more rapidly than they usually are through traditional interlibrary loan programs.

The CIC UBorrow solution marries the strengths of two different resource sharing systems to create a fast, reliable, cost-effective, scalable and unmediated consortial borrowing service that is relatively quick and easy to implement. The service uses Relais D2D to search CIC library catalogs through Z39.50 and to determine which libraries have available copies, while using OCLC ILLiad (developed by Atlas Systems) to manage the fulfillment of requests. 

The addition of Relais D2D to the CIC technology mix allows member libraries to leverage their existing ILS and ILL systems to more effectively meet their user needs, significantly reducing the need for users to recall checked-out material or for libraries to purchase multiple copies. Most importantly, this unmediated consortial borrowing system effectively makes most of the 90 million volumes held in the CIC libraries and the Center for Research Libraries readily available to library users through a single interface with a fast and predictable turnaround time and a generous loan period.

UBorrow is the result of a unique, three-way collaboration among consortia members and resource sharing software developers and an innovative approach to consortial borrowing that had not been accomplished before. 

Funding for the 2012 Innovation Award is provided by Relais International.

The Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative is an ad hoc group that advocates for a complete rethinking of the way libraries conduct resource sharing in the context of the global internet revolution and all of the developments that have arisen from that. The group is advocating for a revolution in the way libraries conduct resource sharing. For more information, please visit

For more information on CIC's UBorrow program, please visit the UBorrow resource page.

  • Library Initiatives

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