Minuteman Library Network
Minuteman Catalog Help
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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General Questions

The Minuteman Library Network is now using our new interface (Encore) to search
the library holdings. The new interface also includes the ability, with a single search, to:
  • Take advantage of the most up-to-date relevance when obtaining search results
  • Use facets (on the left side of the screen) to drill down by material format, publishing date,
    subject headings (tags) and much more.
  • Search and retrieve full text journal and magazine articles
  • Search and checkout the OverDrive eBooks, eAudiobooks and streaming video in your account
  • See availability of OverDrive electronic titles in search results
  • See OverDrive checkouts and Holds in your account

See new training videos on our YouTube channel  

The videos posted are short "sound bites" of existing catalog functionality. Each video is a small segment on a specific aspect of Encore.

Recent videos: Coming in the next few days:
  • Narrow Your Search
  • Place a Hold
More videos will be added regularly, on an ongoing basis.

What is Encore?

Encore is a new way to search the materials in the Minuteman libraries. Encore is particularly powerful when you begin with a broad search and want to narrow it down. The tools in Encore provide multiple ways to refine a given search. Discovery tools in Encore include features common to search engines such as Google, commercial web sites and social networking sites.

What are some of the features of Encore?

  • A single search box provides a simple Google-like experience
  • Faceted Search results. Facets can be added to or removed from one's search in any order.
  • Tags to refine your search, which are subject headings found in search results displayed
  • Holdings information at the search results screen; no need to click away from the results list
  • RightResults relevance ranking bringing the most relevant results to you at the beginning of the results display
  • Ability to re-sort a result list by Title or Date
  • "Did you mean" function based on words and phrases found in our collection, which is superior to spell checking with a dictionary
  • Access to articles available to all Massachusetts residents through the state; No need to leave the catalog to search for articles in magazines, journals, etc.
  • Ability to search for eBooks, Digital Audiobooks, Streaming Video (Digital Video) and without leaving the Encore catalog.
    Includes display of eBook availability, request placement, and checkout of eBooks from within Encore
  • Enhanced relevance for popular titles affects the ranking of titles at the top of the results set based upon the number of attached copies. This helps libraries promote best sellers and popular original titles cited in recent criticism or other media.
  • Enhanced relevance for known titles affects the ranking of monographic titles that appear at the top of the results based upon how the searches match the title. This is very similar to the way serial titles are handled, and is useful for automatically promoting single-word and other known titles.

Does Encore search the same resources as the Classic Catalog?

Encore searches all of the same resources (books, sound recordings, DVDs, museum passes, etc.). In addition, Encore performs your search in the Ebsco subscription database and retrieves articles that match you search from that database.

Encore can search the eBooks, digtial audiobooks and streaming video in our OverDrive holdings, indicating availability, allowing checkout or placing of holds.

Will Encore replace the old catalog (the Classic Catalog)?

The Classic Catalog will be retired as of September 1st, 2015.

Is there a timeout period for Encore, and if so, what is that period?

If you forget to log out, the catalog will log you out after 10 minutes.

How do I add a tag and how to delete a tag in Encore?

Find a title you would like to tag. Click on the + button on the right side of the title, then on the tag button. See:

You will be prompted to first login and then add your tag.

Type in a Tag label and click Submit. See:

Your tag will appear under Community tags once you click on the title. See:

To remove your tag, simply click on the "X" next to your tag.

Your tags are searchable in the catalog. If you now do a search for "my cat list", you will see the title that was tagged with that tag.

What is Hoopla and how does it work in Encore?

Hoopla is a way to borrow free digital video, music and audiobooks with your library card. Hoopla titles are available in the catalog and once you find a Hoopla title you have to click on the "Instantly available on hoopla." link to gain access to the title.

Not all libraries in the Minuteman Network subscribe to Hoopla. If you are not able to get the title, please ask a librarian for more information.

Does doing a phrase search (grouping within quotes) work faster?

Yes, it will take a bit less time.

Also, if you do a search for "girl on the train" in quotes you will get fewer results than searching for girl on the train without the quotes.

Is there a Minuteman app for my mobile device?

The "Minuteman Library Network" app is available for download in the Apple App Store, the Google Play store and Amazon for Kindle Fire.

MLNMobile Apple     MLNMobile Android

You can also find it on Amazon.

More information about the app here.


As of February 13, 2012, Minuteman is pleased to provide a mobile friendly interface to the Minuteman catalog. Simply point your mobile device browser to http://find.minlib.net

You can search the Minuteman catalog, view My Account, renew checked out items, place requests, all from your mobile phone. There is no application to install.


How do I find out when libraries are open, driving directions, and other library-related information?

You can find out information about a particular library in two ways. The first way is by going to Minuteman's home page: http://www.mln.lib.ma.us/, selecting the Contact Your Library link under Quick Links, and selecting the library in which you are interested. The pages display the library's contact information and directions for getting there. For hours of operation, please check each individual library's page.

How do I obtain a Minuteman library card?

When is the Minuteman Catalog available?

The Minuteman Catalog is always available. During system maintenance, you will not see requests nor renewals on your account. These actions are queued to happen once the system maintenance is finished.

Once I'm in the catalog, how do I return to the Minuteman homepage?

You can return to the Minuteman home page by clicking on Minuteman logo in the top banner of the search screen.

Is online search help available?

How do I view the next page of my search results?

Click on a specific title and select "Next Result" to display the subsequent search results. The navigation options for displaying results can be found at both the top right of the full record screen

How do I view all the copies of a particular title?

The catalog displays the first ten copies of a particular title. To view all of the copies, select the "View additional copies or search for specific volume/copy" button.

Is there a way to display only available copies for particular title?

After selecting the "View additional copies or search for specific volume/copy" button, select the "Limit to Available" button.

Which browsers are recommended for using the catalog?

We recommend using a (non-beta version) modern browser capable of supporting current Web standards.

Our vendor supports the two (2) most recent publicly released, generally available desktop versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari browsers, across all current Innovative software and hosted services. These modern browsers enable us to provide the best possible performance, security and user experience in our products.

When a new browser version is publicly released, Innovative will confirm support for that version within 90 days on a best-efforts basis. At that time, support for the third most recent version will be withdrawn.

Notes & Recommendations

  • A minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 is recommended for the best user experience.
  • JavaScript, cookies and SSL 3.0 must be enabled for all browsers.
  • Other third-party browser plug-ins may interfere with the normal use of Innovative software and hosted services. In the event of difficulties, please try disabling any other plug-ins.
  • The Kindle Fire browser does not function properly with multi-user web applications. To safeguard your Innovative products, Kindle Fire browsers are automatically blocked.


  • The Windows 8 Start ("Metro") versions of Internet Explorer are not supported at this time.

Can I search for Chinese Language materials in the online catalog?

There are over 28,000 Chinese language titles (over 40,000 items) in the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). Keyword, author, or title searches can be performed with either Chinese character input or with Romanized characters using Pinyin. You can find all Chinese items in the MLN Catalog by using the search described here: http://www.mln.lib.ma.us/catalog/faq_search.htm#search31 You can limit your search by material type (books only, for example) or to a particular library's collection.

Most Chinese materials can be shared among libraries. Use the catalog's request function to request that an item be sent to your library.

Minuteman also offers Spanish, French and Russian search interfaces of the catalog.

Can I search for Russian Language materials in the online catalog?

There are over 18,000 Russian language titles in the Minuteman Library Network (MLN). Keyword, author, or title searches can be performed using either Roman transliteration or the Russian alphabet. You can find all Russian items in the MLN Catalog by using the search described here: http://www.mln.lib.ma.us/catalog/faq_search.htm#search31 You can limit your search by material type (books only, for example) or to a particular library's collection. Most Russian materials can be shared among libraries. Use the catalog's request function to request that an item be sent to your library.

Minuteman also offers Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French and Portuguese search interfaces of the catalog.

I would like to hide my name on the reserve slip when picking up holds at the library

Your library can set up an alias instead of your full name to display on your reserve slip when you pick up your holds. Please see a librarian to have that functionality enabled.

Does my Reading History carry over from the Classic Catalog? Also My Lists, Preferred searches?

Yes, your Reading History, Lists and Preferred Searches all carry over from the Classic catalog.

What if my library doesn't have a subscription to a database in the articles area?

The articles area includes databases that are available to all Massachusetts residents. Your library subscribes to all Massachusetts state-wide databases by default.

What are Recent Searches and Recently Viewed?

Choose from a list of your recent searches and titles viewed to return to a previous search strategy or detailed record view. The history persists throughout your browser session, even when you are not logged in to Encore. The history clears automatically when your Encore session times out. If you are logged in, log out to clear the history at any time during a session.

Are title ratings available in Encore?

Patron ratings are no longer available in the version of Encore we are using. Patrons who want to rate titles or read reviews may wish to use GoodReads. A button to GoodReads reviews is provided on most titles in Encore.