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Using the Law Library 101: How to Request Items Outside the Law Library

What If....

...the book you want is at another Cornell Library?

... the book is checked out or the book is not in the library catalog?

  • If the book is in our catalog but checked out, you can put a "recall" on the book, but it can take up to 2 weeks for recalled books to be returned.
  • For faster delivery from another university, try Borrow Direct.
  • Try WorldCat and use the interlibrary loan system. For books that you request from Borrow Direct and the interlibrary loan system, you must return the book to your pick up location.

...I want to request an article that is not owned by our libraries?

...I want someone to scan a journal article or chapter (within copyright) either owned by Cornell or another lending institution?

  • You can use the Law Library's SCANit, a free document delivery service for Cornell Law students and faculty. SCANit is not to be confused with the University Library's ScanIt, which is a fee-based service available to the entire Cornell community.

Interlibrary Loan Services

The University Library provides 3 kinds of interlibrary loan services.

Interlibrary Loan and ScanIt: These two services use the same borrowing interface. Interlibrary loan allows you to borrow items from other institutions. You can choose from five pick-up locations, one of which is the law library. You need to register with your NetID to use this service. ScanIt allows you to request copies (for a fee) of journal articles, book chapters and other materials located in the print collection of the Cornell University Libraries directly from Cornell's catalog.  Law students are encouraged to request scans instead through the law library website, which for law students is free-of-charge, and requests for scans can be made for both Cornell and non-Cornell owned materials (within copyright).  

Borrow Direct: Books that are currently unavailable or not owned by Cornell may be requested through the virtual catalog of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Duke, Princeton and Yale. This is a rapid book delivery system, with no registration needed and no fee for members of the Cornell community.

Detailed instructions for using these services are in the boxes below.

How to Use the Interlibrary Loan and ScanIt

Log into Interlibrary Loan and ScanIt using your NetID and password. The first time you use this service you will have to register. The first time you register you will need to select your processing unit. This is the unit that will receive and process your request: Olin Library, Mann Library, the Law Library or the Veterinary Library.

  • Select "Request an article."
  • If you are a law student when prompted to select if you are willing to pay for fees, select "exempt" and indicate you are a law student in the "notes" field. (Alternatively, if you are a law student you can send a direct SCANit request that is free of charge by following the directions on the law library SCANit page).
  • Fill in your citation information and submit request.

You will receive an e-mail notification when your article is available to view through your account. All articles will remain available for viewing in your account for 30 days.

How to make a Library-to-Library Book Delivery Request

  • Search the Library Catalog and display the record of the item you wish to request
  • Click the "Request" button to the right of the title
  • At the log-in screen, enter your NetID and password (if you are already authenticated, you will be sent directly to the request screen)
  • Select the pickup location and click submit
  • A confirmation message will display
  • You will receive an e-mail when the item is ready to be picked up at the library you have chosen.

Once you make a Library-to-Library Book Delivery request, you can monitor the status of your request at My Account.

How to Use Borrow Direct

Borrow Direct allows you to borrow books from other Institutions. Borrow Direct is usually faster than Interlibrary Loan.  If your need is urgent, it is better to use this service. To use Borrow Direct, click the "Borrow Direct" tab on the catalog record page.

Once you login with your Cornell NetID, you will see the following page.


After you have found the book you are looking for, choose your pick-up library. Return the book to the pick-up library when you are done with it.