Requesting Library Materials

Found what you were looking for in the catalog, but it's not on the shelf? Or Forbes doesn't own it, but another library has a copy of the item you want? You can request materials online to be delivered to your home library and held for you.

To place a request:

  • Search the library catalog to identify the item(s) you want.
  • If you get a list of items, you can click on the REQUEST button next to the item you want; or click on the title of the item you want and then click the REQUEST button near the top of the screen.
  • Enter your library card number and PIN at the prompts, and choose a pickup location (where you would like the item delivered) from the drop-down menu. Then click SUBMIT.
  • You can have up to 20 holds at one time.

Materials from other libraries

If you don't find what you're looking for in the Forbes Library catalog, click on the drop-down menu where it says Northampton. Scroll to the bottom and choose All C/W MARS Libraries, then click the Search button again.

If you still can't find it, you can try the Massachusetts Virtual Catalog, and of course, you may always fill out an interlibrary loan form (available at any of the public service desks) or ask a librarian. Requests placed in this way may take longer, but they allow you to borrow materials from libraries throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

Important details

Don't forget to log out when you are done!

The Library will notify you by e-mail when the item is ready to be picked up. Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery, though many items arrive sooner.

If the item you are looking for is in the Forbes Library and has a shelf status of "Check Shelves" it is best to call the library at 413-587-1011 to have a staff member pull it for you and put it on the hold shelf. If you place the hold electronically there will be a delay before the library staff is aware of your hold and it will slow down our ability to fulfill it for you.

The librarians will be happy to help you use this feature.

Please note that the library's collection of vinyl music recordings (LPs) are not holdable through the catalog. Our inter-library loan department will honor requests for LPs by calling 587-1011 or faxing 587-1015.

Here are some Tips for Using the Library Catalog.

Holds Notification is by Email only as of April 1, 2011.

To receive automated email updates when your holds arrive, just provide us with your email address. You may add your email yourself by logging into your account and selecting "Update Email Info", or, if you prefer, stop by the circulation desk and we can update your account for you.

Don't have an email address? Just stop by the reference desk. We would be happy to help set up an email address for you.

You can also check the status of your holds from any computer with an Internet connection, including the library catalog computers and public PCs. We will be happy to show you how.

And of course, you can always stop by the library or call us when we are open to inquire about the status of your holds.

Any questions? Call us at 413-587-1011 or stop by the circulation desk.

Would you like to be able to have someone else pick up your items on hold?

We respect the privacy of our patron's library accounts, this is why we have required the person who placed the hold to come in and pick up the hold themselves. However, because we realize how hectic life can get, we will now allow you to authorize someone else to pick up your holds. Simply stop by the library with your library card and let us know the name of the person you would like to authorize. From that point on, the person you have authorized may come in with a picture ID and pick up your hold items*. If you have any questions please ask.

*Only those items on hold will be able to be charged out to your account. Also, please note this policy only applies at the Forbes Library.