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ALabama LIbraries Exchange Service (ALLIES)
Universal Borrowing (UB)
Some Alabama academic libraries have implemented a Universal Borrowing (UB) System. The libraries involved in the project are using compatible software systems. Institutions participating are:

Auburn University
Auburn University at Montgomery
Jacksonville State University
University of Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham (Sterne Library)

Eligible library patrons may walk into a participating library and check out books using a photo ID. The books can be returned to any library in the ALLIES group.

In addition, Library users may request books from these libraries and have them delivered quickly to any library in the ALLIES system. Universal Borrowing allows ALLIES users to identify materials of interest by simultaneously searching the participating libraries' catalogs. Once identified, the availability of a title can be seen in real time. An online form immediately sends the request to the holding library. There, the item is readied for delivery to any participating library for pickup. When the requested item reaches the destination library, the borrower is notified that it is ready for pickup. Throughout this process, the status of the item is always available through the online catalog. The borrower can monitor the status through their patron information record.

Eligible patrons include:
  • Currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students who have circulation privileges at their home institutions, and are in good standing.
  • Currently employed faculty or staff members who have circulation privileges at their home institutions, and are in good standing.
  • Officially retired faculty and staff members, in good standing.
Circulating books are the only type of material eligible for Universal Borrowing. However, books used as textbooks in UAB classes should not be requested. Books may be renewed once, and the maximum number that may be checked out via Universal Borrowing is 10 (ten).

The ALLIES libraries have agreed to a common 28-day loan period.