Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Forbush Memorial Library is a proud member of the CW MARS library consortium. Your library card gives you access to materials from 150+ libraries in central and western Massachusetts. You can place holds on items using your CW MARS account (see below) or ask a librarian to place holds for you.

Items borrowed through Interlibrary Loan are subject to the lending policies of the owning library, which may differ from ours. Please pay attention to item due dates. Fines for late items are assessed based on the owning library’s policies.

How to place a hold (CW MARS)

We are happy to place holds on your behalf. You can request items:

  • In-person at any circulation desk

  • Online using our Ask A Librarian contact form

  • On the phone by calling 978-874-7416

To place holds yourself online, continue reading:

Use the CW MARS Catalog to search for items. Be sure to choose “All Central MA Libraries” on the Library drop-down menu.

There are two ways to place a hold on an item:

  1. On the right of the screen, you'll see a link to Place Hold. Click this link.

  2. Click on the title to bring up its record. You can review details about the item on this page. If you want to request the title, click Place Hold located at the top of the menu on the right.

You will be prompted to type in your library card number and password. After logging in, place the hold by clicking the “Submit” button. A confirmation that the hold was successfully placed will appear.

Your default password is the last 4 digits of your phone number. If you need to reset your password, please contact the library. For more information, see the CW MARS Catalog Help page.

How to use the Commonwealth Catalog (ComCat)

If you are unable to find the item you want in the CW MARS catalog, you can expand your search to the Commonwealth Catalog. Requests will be delivered to your local library for pickup.

To log into the Commonwealth Catalog (or ComCat):

  • You will be asked to select your library. If you have a Forbush Memorial Library card, select “CW-WESTMINSTER: Westminster Forbush Memorial Library”. Otherwise, select the library you received your card from.

  • Then, log in using your library card number and password.

For more information, use the ComCat Patron FAQ (available from the ComCat home page) or Searching and Requesting Guide.

We are always happy to place ComCat holds on your behalf. You can email us at email hidden; JavaScript is required, use the Ask A Librarian form, or call 978-874-7416 and ask for the Interlibrary Loan librarian.

Please note that unlike other ILL items, all ComCat items must be returned directly to us. Returning a ComCat item to a different library may result in your account being billed.

How to use WorldCat

WorldCat is a global catalog supported by OCLC, a nonprofit global library organization. Use WorldCat to search libraries across the country all at once.

To request an item from WorldCat, you can email your request to email hidden; JavaScript is required, use the Ask A Librarian form, or call 978-874-7416 and ask for the Interlibrary Loan librarian. Include as much detail as possible with your request. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that every request will be fulfilled.

You will receive a notification when your hold arrives at Forbush for pick-up. Notifications can be sent by email, phone call, and/or text message. Notification preferences can be changed on your CW MARS account or by any librarian.

Items ready for pick-up are held at the main circulation desk. Items are held for seven days. After that time period has passed, the item will be returned to the owning library.