Thursday, March 10, 2011

Using Your Online Library Catalog

I have to thank a younger family member for introducing me to this amazing tool. Our state of Massachusetts has regional memberships for local libraries that allow patrons to borrow books from member libraries. Utilizing additional memberships, patrons can borrow from larger libraries should their own regional library not provide the materials they are seeking.

For instance, my library belongs to CWMARS that is the Central district. A search will produce books from member libraries. I can do an additional search that goes outside the region. People do have to live in a qualifying district. With cutbacks, some libraries have been disqualified.
What I love is being able to access the catalog from my home. I can search availability and make reservations online. When the books arrive, I receive an email telling me the book is at the reservation desk. In our system, patrons are allowed to reserve up to ten items. Each time an item arrives and is checked out you can add another if you have reached your limit.

This has saved me hours of time trying to access a monitor to check titles at the library. It has motivated me to look at titles available from other libraries, as our library does not always have the materials I am most interested in accessing.

The regional system has allowed me access to DVD’s, books on CD, Video Games, as well as traditional books one expects to get from a library. If you have not examined your local libraries online capacity I suggest you find out if they have gone online. It is a great way to access materials. I have saved money on books and movies and I have had a chance to review other products prior to purchasing them.


  1. This reminds me that one of the libraries (I will have to see if I can find it) now has an eBook program. They were allowing all members of any library in any state to download.

  2. That IS really cool- I didn't realize that they even had them.

  3. We don't have a program like this one, but several libraries in our state have an audio book network that they participate in. You can go to a number of libraries' websites and download audio books they have available. Pretty nifty!

  4. It's so helpful if a library has that service. I have utilized it many times at my own library.

  5. My library now lets you search all the libraries in the province and request them, and they will bring them in. Definitely increases the options that you have! They also have ebooks to download on their site. I love the library!