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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Request Questions

Request Questions -- General
Request Questions -- Audiovisual (AV) Requests

Can I suspend ("Freeze") my holds so that they don't arrive when I am on vacation?


Log in to My Account
Place a mark in the check box that appears on the right in the column headed "FREEZE". (NOTE: This box only appears if your Hold is eligible to be suspended.)
To save this option to suspend a request, click on UPDATE LIST

When you come back from vacation, reverse the process by unchecking the box in the FREEZE column and click UPDATE LIST.

How do I request an item online?

To begin, we highly recommend that you log into My Account first.
Once logged in, search the catalog for items of interest. To request an item, Click on the "Request" button next the title.

If are already logged in, the catalog will remember you and will ask you to confirm a pick up location for each request. If not, you will be prompted to log in with your library card or username. Feel free to ignore the "Cancel if not filled by" field if not applicable.

Do I need to specify a pickup location for requested items?

How will I be notified when my requested items arrive?

When viewing Holds in My Account, how can I tell what items are waiting for me at my library?

The words "Ready. Pick up by xx-xx-xx" in the status column tell you that your request is ready. You should receive an email notice or phone call within one business day of the item's arrival. Contact library staff if you believe you are not receiving your notices.

Any other status, or the lack of a status, means that your item is not yet ready for you to pick up. If the status is "ON HOLDSHELF", the item is NOT ready for you to pick up. The system is just reporting that item's status as on a holdsheld for another patron.

Can I tell where my request is in the waiting list order?

No, due to the complexity of how a hold's priority is determined, the software does not provide that precise information.

However, there are some facts that will help you to interpret the data that you can view.

In the case of a bestseller such as this, the ratio of requests will give you a good idea of the length of the queue. In the case illustrated above, there are 67 holds for 52 copies. So, on average, the next round of returned items should fill most of the currently outstanding holds.

Can I change the pickup location for my request?

Yes, so long as the item is not already on the way to fill your request, or already on the Holdshelf.

  • Log in to My Account
  • Using the dropdown menu that accompanies the current pickup location for a given title, select a new pickup location.
  • Click on UPDATE LIST to save your new pickup locations.

Is there limit on the number of requests I can have on my account at any one time?

You can have 50 requests on your account at a given time.

Can I suspend ("Freeze") my holds so that they don't arrive when I am on vacation?

  • Log in to My Account
  • Place a mark in the check box that appears on the right in the column headed "FREEZE".
    • This box only appears if your Hold is eligible to be suspended.
  • To save this option to suspend a request, click on UPDATE LIST
When you come back from vacation, reverse the process by unchecking the box in the FREEZE column and click UPDATE LIST.

You will not lose your place in the request queue by freezing a request. When you unfreeze your request you will be restored to your previous place in line.

Why is there no option to suspend (Freeze) some of my requests?

If the system has already identified an Available item to fill your request, you will not be able to freeze the request. Similarly, you can cannot freeze requests that are already in transit to you or ready for pick-up. The "freeze" option works best in the situation where your request is in a long queue of requests waiting for an item.

How can I tell if my requests are frozen?

When you view your Holds in My Account, there will be a mark in the checkbox in the FREEZE column for those titles.

Sometimes when I am placing a request, the form asks my to choose a particular item. Why? Can't I just request the first available copy?

If a title consists of multiple volumes or parts, the system will require you to select a specific copy to request.
This can happen in the case of:
  • Comic book and manga issues
  • Magazine issues
  • Individual discs of a TV series or music anthology
  • Multiple volumes in a series of travel guides
  • Specific pieces of equipment
If you want to request several or all parts of the item, you can make a request for each copy.

Placing a request didn't work!

The catalog will not allow you to place requests under the following conditions: Staff at any Minuteman library can assist you with your account.

While attempting to place a request, I got the message "There is a problem with your library record. Please see a librarian." What kinds of problems cause this message?

I don't want to re-enter my library card number and password for each request. Can the catalog remember my account when requesting more than one item?

Log in to My Account before beginning your search. You will remained logged in through out the session, the catalog will remember your login credentials and preferred pick-up location. Remember to log out when finished, especially on a public computer.

Do I need to enter an expiration date when requesting an item in the catalog?

No. If you don't enter an expiration date, the catalog keeps your request effective for one year.

Why does the Request button fail to appear in some cases?

I tried requesting an item online but received the response saying "no items requestable, request denied", yet I can see that the library network has it and is Available. Why does this happen?

There are a couple of scenarios where you may see Available items, but not be given the opportunity to request the items.

In some cases, libraries have made a decision to make some of their items part of a browsing collection. Items so designated are not eligible to fill requests. However, you are always welcome to visit the library to check out these Available items. Often such items can be recognized by one of the following in the call number or item location columns when you are viewing Copy Status: Speed read, Express, See It Now, etc.

This is also true of the variety of new types of materials libraries are offering, such as home & gardening tools, electronics, toys, musical instruments, telescopes, etc. These materials are in demand and cannot be easily sent through delivery, and typically require you to visit the owning library.

In the case of recent feature film DVDs, the most Minuteman libraries have a policy restricting requests of recent films (added to the collection in the last 3 months) to patrons living in the community owning the films. As above, if the items are currently Available, you are welcome to visit the library to borrow the materials.

Why are there restrictions on requesting new feature films from other Minuteman libraries?

Feature films make up about 15% of all interlibrary transfers, and are more susceptible to damage or loss during transfer. New feature films are intended as a browsing collection that walk-in patrons look for in all of our libraries. Over 90% of library check-outs are made by walk-in patrons.

In many libraries, feature films circulate for one week. When sent through delivery, that in-demand title is unavailable for several days. Over the course of a year, weeks are lost in the life of a new film as we transport it around the network. For all of these reasons, this seemed the best choice in the effort to limit volume in delivery.

Does this mean that I cannot borrow new feature films at libraries other than my own?

No, it simply means that we cannot transport new feature films for you to the pick-up location of your choice. You may still go directly to the owning library and borrow the films there with your Minuteman Library Network card. It is a good idea to call first and ask about the item's availability and the loan policies that apply in that library. Some libraries will set materials aside for you when you call. That varies from library to library and typically depends on the availability of staff.

Will my local library allow me to place holds on the feature films that they own?

I live in one town but I usually use the library in another town and set them as my pick-up location. Can I be treated a local patron and reserve feature films in the library that I usually visit?