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borrowIT CT

borrowIT CT is a cooperative borrowing program among the state's public libraries.

Expenditure Report Form

FY23 borrowIT CT Highlights

Through the borrowIT CT program, the 1,276,686 Connecticut residents with library cards can check out items from any and all of the 191 public libraries in the state, even if they don't live in that town. This gives them access to 13 million items, 86% of which are books.

  • Libraries loaned 2,387,029 items to residents of other towns in FY2023. If the hometown libraries had to purchase all the items their patrons borrowed through the borrowIT program, it would cost them over $35 million dollars (at $15/item).
  • In FY2022, 11% of all circulation in Connecticut public libraries was by non-residents.
  • Libraries are currently reimbursed an average of just $0.32 per transaction, well short of the average cost of $1.05 per transaction to lend to non-residents (not including the cost of the item).
  • Funding for borrowIT has dropped back to just 57% of the 2008 appropriation in real dollars and 43% in inflation-adjusted dollars.
  • The total number of items loaned over the history of the program, 1974-2022, is 156,493,203

Libraries that lend the most to non-residents receive higher payments because they also contribute more of their own resources to the program.

Pie char that shows how the FY22 borrowIT expenditures were spent. The pie chart has labeled the five top catergories (Materials 48%, Automation 14%, Supplies 9%, All Other 8%, Furniture/Equipment 7%)

borrowIT Statistics

Lending to Non-residents

Examples of How borrowIT Benefits Patrons


While the E.C. Scranton Library building in Madison was closed for a major renovation from October 2018 to September 2020, library services were relocated to a small, rented space in a different part of town. In the 2016 reporting period, Madison had been ranked at #36 out of 191 for use of the borrowIT service. But in 2020, their ranking was #2, as Madison residents relied on libraries in neighboring towns (Clinton, Killingworth, Guilford, North Branford) while their library was under construction. 


A businesswoman who lives in one town and works in another can use the library where she works.


A man interested in reading a book that is not available in his local library is able to drive to a neighboring library and get it immediately.


An entire class is given the same assignment, quickly depleting the resources at their local library. Students can visit neighboring libraries to find the materials needed to complete their homework.


A family's first language is Polish. Their local library doesn't have the resources to buy Polish books, but they are able to use a neighboring library with a strong Polish collection.


Sample from the borrowIT CT Report Creator of the estimated impact of funding cuts since 2011 for Manchester Public Library:

chart showing that Manchester Library would have received an additional $224,000 over time if funding weren't cut

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