Summit Borrowing

Not AvailableCOVID-19 Update: Summit borrowing is not available at this time.

What is it?

Summit is a free, rapid borrowing service that allows you to search and request books from 37 local academic libraries in the Pacific Northwest.

Who can use it?

Current UW students, staff, faculty, and Summit visiting patrons.

When do I use it?

Use this service if you can’t check out a book right now at UW, or if UW doesn’t own the item.

How long does it take?

Most Summit items arrive in 3-5 business days.

How long can I keep materials?

Summit items can be checked out for either six days or six weeks. The checkout period is set by the lending library at time of shipment. Summit items are not renewable.


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What is the difference between Summit Borrowing and Interlibrary Loan Borrowing?

    Summit allows patrons to request books, DVDs and other physical items directly from any Summit library for fast delivery (about 5-7 days). Summit patrons can choose from the holdings of 39 academic libraries in the Pacific Northwest who have joined together to provide expedited service to their patrons.

    Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services allow UW patrons to request books, DVDs and other physical items held in libraries worldwide. This includes materials not available in Summit that cannot be requested through Summit (microforms, photocopies of articles). Patrons send requests to the UW ILL department where staff locate potential lenders, request, receive and send the materials to the patron's desired pickup location, and arrange for the material’s return to the home library.

    What do the Summit statuses mean?

    It is possible to track your Summit requests directly in Your Library Account from the time you make your request until the time you return the item and it is checked in. Some statuses may be different than the ones you see with items borrowed from within the UW Libraries.

      • Locate in process - The request is new and has not yet been placed at the lending library.
      • Request sent to partner - Request has been placed at a possible lending library.
      • Shipped physically - The lending library has shipped the requested item.
      • Physically received by library - We have received the item at the UW Libraries and it is on its way to your requested pickup location.
      • Due date - The item is checked out to you and due on the indicated date. Summit items cannot be renewed.

    Why do Summit items have a different loan period than my UW items?

    Summit items have loan periods determined by Summit. Those loan periods are 6 days or 6 weeks and are not renewable.

    Why was my Summit request cancelled even though UW Libraries Search said the item was “available”?

    There are a number of reasons why a request for an item that seems to be available would be cancelled:

      • Not on shelf – the lending library staff went to pull the item from their bookshelves, but the item was missing.
      • Non-circulating – this item is non-circulating and cannot be checked out. These items still appear as “available” because they are on the shelf at the other library and available for use by users physically in that library.
      • In use – this item may have been available at the time that you placed your Summit request, but the was checked out by a user at the library before the item could be shipped to the UW.

    Why do Summit items have a different loan period than my UW items?

    Items circulating through Summit have loan periods determined by Summit. Those loan periods are 6 days or 6 weeks and are not renewable.

    I found an ebook at another Summit library – can I borrow it through Summit?

    No, unfortunately. Due to electronic rights management (ERM) and licensing restrictions, it is not possible to share ebook content between Summit libraries.

    Can I request multiple volumes through Summit?

    Yes. You need to request each volume of a multivolume work as a separate request. On the request form you will see a box labelled "Resource Information: Volume/part (one item per request)” – use this box to indicate which volume you need. Example: “Volume 1.”

    Am I able to check items out using my UW student ID card when I visit another Summit institution in person?

    Yes. Go here for more information and a list of Summit institutions.

    Can I return a Summit item to the lending library?

    It is best to return Summit items to the UW libraries so that the item will be immediately checked in and removed from your account. The checkin process may be delayed up to a week if you return Summit items to another Summit library.

    Can I use Summit items for course reserves?

    No, Summit items may not be put on course reserve.

    What happens if I damage or lose a Summit item?

    You may be charged a fee for replacement of the item if it is lost or irreparably damaged.  Most minor damages will not incur fees but such determinations are made by the owning library.

    What are the copyright restrictions for Summit items?

    Summit items are covered by United States copyright law (Title 17. United States Code.), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy/reproduction is not to be "USED FOR ANY PURPOSES OTHER THAN PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP, or RESEARCH." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes IN EXCESS of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

    For more information, see the Step-by-Step Guide to Copyright Compliance.