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Interlibrary Loans and Patron Placed Holds


There are two ways that you can obtain books, videos, DVD's and CD's that are not available physically at BCC's Jonathan Edwards Library but are located in the collections of other libraries in Massachusetts and world wide: Through Patron Placed Holds and through InterLibrary Loans.

Patron Placed Holds  

 InterLibrary Loans  

  Holds & Ill's FAQ's 



Patron Placed Holds   

Patrons can place a HOLD on an item in the Western or Central region of the State through the MARS system and with participating libraries through the Virtual Catalog system.  This is done by the patron anywhere they have access to the internet.    For more information on how to place a hold to obtain books, DVD's, CD's, videos click here.   

IMPORTANT: Articles from journals and magazines that we do not subscribe to in hard copy or through our databases, must be ordered through InterLibrary Loan.  They can not be ordered through the hold system.  Books that are not obtainable through the MARS system or the Virtual Catalog can also be requested through InterLibrary Loan.





InterLibrary Loan

InterLibrary Loan  (ILL) is a service provided by the Jonathan Edwards Library that allows patrons to borrow borrow books that are not in any collection accessible through the hold system in Massachusetts, as well as magazine and journal articles, and materials located outside of the State.  If the material you need is not available at the BCC Library or through the CWMars Holds system you may request the item through Interlibrary Loan.  ONLY current BCC Students, Faculty and Staff are allowed to request InterLibrary Loans at this time.

Requesting An InterLibrary Loan:

  • If the material you need is not available at the BCC Library or through the CWMars Holds system you may request the item through Interlibrary Loan.   Requests for material must be submitted in writing.  For your convenience,  request can now be made online by filling out the BCC Library InterLibrary Loan form or by emailing the request to:  You may also make a request by filling out a form at the Circulation Desk when we are open.

  • An emailed request should contain the following information:
    Patron --- name, BCC library card number, phone number.
    Book request --- title, author, ISBN (if possible).
    Article request --- journal title, date, volume:issue, page numbers, article title and author.  
    Non-Print materials* request ---  Include the title, series title if any, author/director/artist, and date.  Additional information may be needed.  *CD, VHS, DVD, Cassette, Film, Filmstrips, software, microform, spoken cd sets, records, slides, etc, etc.  

    Plan ahead when requesting items.  A minimum of two weeks is needed to search, process and receive ILL requests. 

Receiving material

  • You will be notified by phone or email when the item arrives.  Our first point of contact is your BCC email address, so make sure that you check this.   If you have not received notification within two weeks call the ILL Dept. at 413 - 236- 2154 and inquire about the status of your request.

Loan period & restrictions

  • The loan period is determined by the lending library.  It is usually 30 days with no renewal.

Returning materials

  • Photo copies that do not need to be returned will be marked N/A.  All other materials must be returned to the BCC Circulation Desk.  Fines will be charged for overdue items and replacement costs will be charged for lost items. 








HOLDS: How Do I Place A Hold?

Placing Holds - Western Region.

In order to place a hold you must first create a PIN.  A PIN allows you to have an "account" in the CWMARS system.  Not only will you be able to borrow books and other materials with your PIN, but you will be able to renew books through the internet and even pay fines!  Any library borrower, including Non-BCC students and community borrowers can use the Hold System.  You must, though, pick up any materials you order with your BCC card at BCC.

Placing Holds-In Western Massachusetts

To place a hold, find the record of the book you want in the Western Massachusetts system.

  • Click here to go directly to the Western Massachusetts search page.
  • Type in your PIN and card information. Then choose a pickup location. Choose BCC.
  • In the rare event you are given a selection of possible locations to choose from, choose a  location that states the book is ON SHELVES.
  • When the book comes in, we will call you. While we can't promise delivery time, most holds  take about one week to arrive.


HOLDS: How Do I Create A Pin?

Creating a PIN: Before you can place a Hold you will have to obtain a Personal

Identification Number or PIN for your card:

1. Go to the BCC Page of the PAC and click the phrase, LOG IN at the top of the page.

2. On the next page type in the barcode number located on the back of your card.

3. Skip the PIN entry, and instead click display.

4. On the next page type in a password (PIN) of your choice twice in the boxes provided.

5. Your PIN can contain numbers, lowercase letters, or a combination of both, not to exceed 30


HOLDS: How Do I Borrow Books from the Virtual Catalog?

The Massachusetts statewide Virtual Catalog allows library users in good standing to:

  • Simultaneously search many Massachusetts academic and public library catalogs
  • Request items that are unavailable at any C/W MARS library
  • Pick up materials from BCC and return materials to BCC or any C/W MARS library.

Click here to get to the Virtual Catalog.

HOLDS: Having Trouble Logging In?

•   Check to make sure you have typed your barcode in correctly.
•   Have you renewed your card at the beginning of the Fall semester?  Cards expire every August, so if
     you haven't renewed it in September, you may not be able to access the system.
•   If you are still having a problem, contact us 413 236 2150 or 413 - 236- 2154.

HOLDS: My Address and Contact Information is Wrong.

While our first point of contact is your BCC email account, you can and should correct your address and contact information.  We may rely on this information to contact you when a book or other item comes in, so it is important that you keep it up-to-date.   

HOLDS: How Long Will It Take Me to Receive My Materials?

Holds placed through the Western and Central part of the State can get here in two to five day. 

HOLDS: How Will I Know That My Materials Have Arrived?

We will contact you as soon as your materials arrive and have been processed.  We rely on the contact information that you provide us with, so it is important that once you have created a PIN and an account in the C/W MARS system, that you keep it up-to-date.

HOLDS:  Circulation Policies: Loan Period and Restrictions.

Normally for HOLDS, there is a three week circulation policy.  In some cases, with non-print media, different libraries may have different policies, therefore it is important to check the date due that we give you in order to get your materials back in time and avoid costly fines.   BCC Staff and Faculty should be aware that they will have to pay fines to outside libraries if their materials are late.

ILL's: Who Is Eligible To Request InterLibrary Loans?

The Interlibrary Loan service is available to current BCC students, faculty and staff. 

ILL's:  How Long Will It Take To Receive My Material?

ILL's usually take longer to receive than patron-placed Holds.   A minimum of two weeks is needed to search, process and receive ILL requests.  

ILL's:  How Will I Know When My Material Arrives?

A minimum of two weeks is needed to search, process and receive ILL requests.  We will contact you as soon as your materials arrive and have been processed.  Make sure that you have a BCC email account.

ILL's & HOLDS:  What Will This Service Cost Me?

HOLDS are free as are most ILL's.  In the case of an ILL, if the lending library charges any fees, we will notify you before we place an ILL order.

ILL's:  Circulation Policies: Loan Period and Restrictions.

The loan period is determined by the lending library.  It is usually 30 days with no renewal.


ILL's: Can I Request DVDs, CDs Or Other Non-print Materials?

Patrons can request non-print materials such as CDs, VHS, DVDs, Cassettes, Films, Filmstrips, software, microforms, spoken cd sets, records, slides, etc, etc. While we do not limit requests by media type , we can not guarantee the availability of the item you are requesting. 

ILL's & HOLDS:  Library User Responsibilities:

As with borrowing books from the BCC library, it is the patrons responsibility to care for the materials lent to them.  Damaged and/or lost items will need to be replaced, and the patron will be responsible for any costs.

page maintained by K Carreras-Hubbard.  Last update 3/16/12