Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Learn How to Place a Hold in the Library Catalog

Did you know that you can request that the library reserve an item for you right from your own computer at home?  You can do this with our books, DVDs, and CDs - anything you can borrow from the library.  There are several situations in which you might want to do this:

  • The item you want has been checked out by someone else and you want to get in line to borrow it next
  • You can't come in to the library for a few days, and you want to make sure the item you want will be available for you when you do come
  • Another library owns something you want and you'd like to pick up in Worcester
In all of these situations, you can place your request by placing a hold in the library catalog.  Here's how to do it:

Go to the library homepage, at  Click on ‘Search Catalog.’  

In the Formats field, select Books (or another media type) from the dropdown menu.

If you know it, type the title of the item.  If you don’t know the title, you can search by author or keyword.

Select ‘Title’ from the next dropdown menu (or author or keyword, if you are not searching for the specific title).

Expand your search to include all of the libraries in our system by choosing ‘All C/W MARS Libraries’ from the next dropdown.

Hit the ENTER key or click on the Search button.

When you find the item you are looking for in the search results, click on ‘Place Hold’ on the right side of the screen.

Login to your library account by typing your library card number into the Username field and your password into the password field (if you are not sure what your password is, try your last name in all capital letters or the last four digits of your phone number.  If neither of those works, come into the library with a photo ID to get your password reset).

Choose the library where you want to pick up the item (you can choose any library in the C/W MARS system).  Then click on the Submit button to make your hold request.

Next, you’ll see a screen that says “Hold was successfully placed.”  This means that your hold has been submitted.  You can click on ‘Continue’ to go back to your search results.

Your hold has been placed!  Now just wait to receive an email or phone call telling you that your item is ready to be picked up.

Things to know about placing holds:

  • When the item you’ve requested is available for you to pickup, a library staff member will notify you.  You can receive your notifications by phone or email, depending on your preference.
  • To receive your hold notifications, you must keep your contact information in your account current.  If your email address or phone number changes, call or visit your local library.
  • Once the item you requested is available, you have seven days to pick it up.  After that, it will be returned to the collection for another patron to borrow.
  • It may take two weeks (or longer for very popular items) to fill your hold request.

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