Searching Far & Wide

When trying to find a book, movie, audio recording, or other item, we recommend that you start searching locally and gradually broaden your search until you locate the item.

You can follow these steps:

  1. Search the Jones Library & branches
    Find instructions and tips for searching and placing holds at CW MARS Help.
  2. Search the CW MARS consortium (most central & western MA libraries)
    Find instructions and tips for searching and placing holds at CW MARS Help.
  3. Search the Commonwealth Catalog (many MA libraries, including UMass Amherst)
  4. Search & borrow directly from the UMass Amherst, Amherst College & Hampshire College libraries
    Amherst residents can visit these libraries, get a free library card, and borrow items directly.
  5. Search WorldCat to view library holdings worldwide
    If Massachusetts libraries* own the item you want, we can request it via ILL (see below).
  6. Request via Inter-Library Loan (ILL) (most libraries across Massachusetts)
    Cost: $1 per request (non-refundable). Contact our Reference Desk to get started.
    We can't guarantee we'll be able to borrow the item, but we're happy to try.

Generally speaking, we are not able to borrow a new book (one published within the current year) via ILL. It can also be difficult to borrow a CD or DVD via ILL, though we can try. We might be able to purchase newly-published items for our collection instead. To request that an item be considered for purchase, please submit a Purchase Suggestion.

If you're looking for magazine, journal, or newspaper articles, see Finding Articles.

* As of January 5, 2024, due to the Jones Library construction project, we have temporarily reduced the scope of our ILL services from U.S. libraries to Massachusetts libraries.

Updated February 1, 2024