Minuteman Catalog Help
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
SMS, Email and Notices
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Can I request an item online?
Yes. We highly recommend that you log into "My Account" first. Then select "search the catalog" from the first page of My Account.
Then search the catalog to find the item that you would like to request. Click on the "Request" button at the top of the screen.
Then the system will remember your library card number and PIN when you place requests. You will still need to designate a pick up location for each request. Feel free to disregard the "Cancel if not filled by:" field.
Continue searching the catalog and placing requests.
What is the limit on the number of requests I can have on my record at any one time?
You can have 50 requests on your account at a given time.
Placing a request didn't work!
The catalog will not allow you to place requests under the following conditions:
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?
How can I get the computer to automatically remember my library card number and PIN when I am requesting more than one item?
Log in to My Account and enter these numbers before searching for items in the catalog.
Do I need to specify a pickup location for requested items?
Yes. Select a library location by scrolling down the drop down menu.
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?
If none of the individual items on the title are eligible to fill a request, the Request button does not appear. Reasons for an item being ineligible to fill a request include (but are not limited to):
Can I be notified by email when my requested items arrive?
Yes. If you have entered your email address into My Account, you will receive email notification.
I thought I signed up to get Email notices from my library. I don't seem to be getting any notices from my library. What might the problem be?
I have signed up for email notification. I filter my email. What do I need to designate as desired email in my filters in order to receive my library notification?
Minuteman library notices come from: library.minlib.net or find.minlib.net
I use Hotmail for email and I haven't been receiving any notices from my Library. How can I fix this?
How to add Minuteman Library Network to Your 'Safe List' on Outlook.com (Formerly Hotmail):
Other email programs (such as Yahoo, AOL, etc.) may have a similar way of filtering email and there will likely be a similar "Safe List" procedure for each provider. See: http://support2.constantcontact.com/articles/FAQ/2753
When I check the display of Request (hold) outstanding, how can I tell what items are waiting for me at my library (Pickup Location column)?
The words "Ready. Pick up by xx-xx-xx" in the status column tell you that your request is ready.
Any other status, or the lack of a status, means that your item is not yet ready for you to pick up. Copies may still be at the owning library, a copy may be In Transit between libraries, or all of the copies may be currently unavailable to fill requests.
Additionally, because of a bug in the system if you see only the status "READY FOR PICKUP" your item may not be available at the library. Please call the library you pick up at to verify that the item is there for you.
I have tried requesting items online. Why does the system sometimes respond saying "no items requestable, request denied" yet I can see that the library network has it and is available?
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, Read It Now.
In the case of recent feature film DVDs or videocassettes, the Minuteman Library Network has 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.
For a more extensive discussion of the policy for requesting audiovisual materials see:
http://www.mln.lib.ma.us/catalog/faq_request.htm#av1 and the following information.
Can I tell where my Request is in a queue of requests?
No, 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 all of the currently outstanding holds.
Priority given to Holds for Pickup at the owning location. Our system is configured to give priority to filling requests for pickup at a given location with items owned by that location. This minimizes the time items spend in the delivery system, as well as giving patrons of a given library priority for use of that libraryís items.
By specifying a location that owns the item as your pickup location when you request material, you can improve your priority for receiving the material. This can be especially useful if there are multiple editions of a title. Take care to choose an edition owned by a location you find convenient to use as a pickup location. (When searching for material, identify material owned by your potential pickup location by using the ability to limit to a library.)
Why is Minuteman placing restrictions on the materials that can be borrowed from member libraries?
Minuteman has to control the volume of materials that are going through the state funded delivery system because the budget for delivery is not sufficient to support its extraordinary growth.
Why are you restricting the interlibrary lending of new feature films?
Feature films make up about 15% of the network transfer (delivery) business. They are easily damaged and easily stolen in transit. In addition, 50% of Minuteman libraries already restrict the lending of new feature films in some way and this has created confusion for staff and patrons about what is truly available to borrow. New feature films are very much a browsing collection that walk-in patrons look for in all of our libraries and walk-in patrons generate 91% of our total circulation.
In many libraries, feature films circulate for one week. When sent through delivery, that hot new title spends days in bins, on a truck, at the warehouse to be sorted, on a hold shelf, and back again on a truck. Over the course of a year, weeks are wasted 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 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.
Why not limit the total number of items that may be borrowed at any given time instead of limiting one particular type, such as feature films?
We do limit the total number of holds that a patron may have at any one time to fifty. Our software does not allow us to limit by the type of material. In other words, we cannot set limits such as ten books, four DVDs, two CDs etc. We can only set one total limit.
Will my local library allow me to place holds on the feature films that they own?
That is a policy decision for each library. Some libraries allow requests on their own DVDs and videos. Some do not. Ask your library for their policy. For a list of the request policy for each Minuteman Library click here.
I live in one town but I usually use the library in another town. May I reserve feature films in the town that I usually visit?
The reserve system is keyed to your place of residence. If the town where you live allows you to place holds on feature films that they own, you will be able to do so. If the town you frequent allows holds but you are not a resident there, you will not be able to place holds on those films via the online catalog. For a list of the request policy for each Minuteman Library click here.
I think itís an important service to be able to borrow materials from Minuteman libraries and have them delivered to my home library. Is there anything that I can do to help?
Yes, there are two things that library patrons can do to help. One is to let your state legislators know that you think funding resource sharing among our libraries is important. The state cut funding at a time when the demand for library service was growing. Funding for resource sharing was $4,400,000 in FY 2001. This year it is $2,000,000. At the same time, interlibrary borrowing was expanding from 424,000 items in delivery in fiscal 2003 to 2.8 million items through delivery in fiscal 2005.
The second way to help is to return materials where you borrow them whenever it is convenient. Last year, more than 400,000 items were borrowed directly from one Minuteman library and dropped off at another. This is a convenience that we have willingly supported for many years. Now however, with the tremendous growth in inter library borrowing, we really need our patrons to return where they borrowed whenever they can.
Can I suspend ("Freeze") my holds so that they don't arrive when I am on vacation?
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. This 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 icicles over the titles that have frozen Holds, as well as the presence of a mark in the checkbox in the FREEZE column for those titles.
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.