If the catalog record indicates that the material is "charged," it means that someone else has signed out the book. You can recall it by clicking on "request." That takes about two weeks. You can also try to get it through Borrow Direct.
If we do not have a book in our holdings, or if the book you need is already checked out:
Click on the REQUEST link in any catalog record to connect to Borrow Direct, search for the book and if it's available from another Ivy League university (or Johns Hopkins, MIT, Duke, or University of Chicago), we will have it shipped to Cornell. Borrowing period is for six weeks, renewable once. Books arrive in 3-4 business days. (This service is for BOOKS only). Many art books are not available through Borrow Direct, but you would probably be able to get them through through Interlibrary Loan.
If we do not have an item that you need (any item -- journal article, DVD, dissertation, etc.):
Use ILLiad (InterLibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database) to request that we borrow materials from other libraries. Loan period is usually one month. Items can arrive in as little as a few days to a couple of weeks (This service will not work for items that Cornell already owns, but are checked out by other borrowers).