Post Date: July 24, 2020

CW MARS stands in support of racial justice and racial equity . We believe that Black Lives Matter and we condemn all forms of systemic racism and discrimination.

We join the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in condemning violence and racism towards Black Americans, Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC).

As an organization, we embrace the core values of equity, diversity and access and we pledge to take the following actions:

  • Encourage all of our libraries to eliminate overdue fines which present an economic barrier to the access of library materials and services.

  • Host monthly conversations around race and racial justice.

  • Educate and train our staff on equity, diversity and inclusion.

  • Understand and examine implicit and racial bias.

  • Review existing network policies for any bias and encourage member libraries to do the same.

  • Review our hiring and recruiting practices to attract a more diverse workforce.

  • Update policies to encourage BIPOC representation on committees.

  • Highlight materials in our collections to promote Black authors and antiracism.

  • Work with state, federal and local agencies and vendors to improve library broadband speeds across the consortium and keep costs affordable for member libraries to best support their communities .

We commit to work together to eliminate racism and build stronger, safer and more connected communities.

Jeanette Lundgren, CW MARS Executive Director

Betsy Perry, President CW MARS Executive Committee & Director of the Sutton Free Public Library

Together with the CW MARS Executive Committee

Alex Reczkowski, Director Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield

Brittany McDougal, Director Oxford Free Public Library

Hope Bodwell, Director Monson Free Library & Reading Room Assoc.

Jean Maziarz, Director Richard Salter Storrs Library, Longmeadow

Jean Shaughnessy, Director Athol Public Library

Jennifer Bruneau, Director Boylston Public Library

Jess Mynes, Director LaChance Library, Mount Wachusett Community College

Marie Letarte, Director Bigelow Free Public Library, Clinton

Nancy Siegel, Director Agawam Public Library

Sheila McCormick, Director Clapp Memorial Library, Belchertown


Post Date: July 15, 2020

CW MARS is excited to welcome a new member library in fiscal year 2021:

Windsor is a small town, founded in 1771 and located in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The current population is around 879. Windsor is best known for its scenic vistas and wilderness . It is home to Notchview, a 3,100-acre reservation managed by the Trustees of Reservations, open to cross-country skiers and other forms of outdoor recreation.


Post Date: April 13, 2020

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) provides a variety of grant opportunities for libraries in Massachusetts. Funding for these grants comes from federal LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funds provided by the Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS).

Over the past five years, seven small Massachusetts public libraries have taken advantage of MBLC grant funds to join C/W MARS including Stevens Memorial Library in Ashburnham, Porter Memorial Library in Blandford, Tyler Memorial Library in Charlemont, Taylor Memorial Library in Hancock, Lanesborough Public Library , Fobes Memorial Library in Oakham and Tolland Public Library

Read full MBLC press release: Taylor Memorial Library uses LSTA Grant to Join Automated Library Network.


Updated: June 26, 2020

Post Date: March 19, 2020

UPDATE: As libraries reopen across the Commonwealth, we are turning off the temporary sign up access to our electronic resources with a mobile phone number.

If you signed up with your mobile number you will still be able to log in and access content with your mobile number for one year from your sign up date. We hope you will visit your local library and turn your Instant digital card into a full library card which will give you access to additional local econtent and physical materials.

Original Post:

Access to ebooks, audiobooks, and e-magazines is even easier now!

Residents of Massachusetts who live in a town with a CW MARS member library can use their mobile phone number as a temporary library card for access to our electronic resources. It takes 30 seconds!

To get started, visit or download the Libby app for iOS or Android and click on the Sign up for an instant digital card.

If you need help see our OverDrive help FAQ or call/email your local library.

Once libraries re-open to the public, we hope you will visit your local library and turn your Instant digital card into a full library card which will give you access to additional local econtent and physical materials.

If your library card has expired you can call/email your local library to renew.


Updated: September 8, 2020

Updated: July 24, 2020

Post Date: Mar 13,2020


Our libraries are committed to maintaining essential library services for our users while ensuring the health and safety of our patrons and staff.

Libraries across the Commonwealth are in various stages of reopening. Many are offering contactless curbside pick-up and delivery. Others have started reopening buildings to the public. Please check your library's website or call your library for details on what services they are providing: CW MARS Member Libraries

Email notices are being sent for due date reminders, renewal status and overdue items.

All libraries are quarantining returned items. If you recently returned items to the library, they may still be in quarantine and might not be checked in from your account until the quarantine period is over. Please allow a few extra days to ensure the items are checked in safely. You can track items still checked out to you in My Account.

Statewide delivery services of physical materials started back up on June 22nd. Libraries are receiving delivery and filling holds. We ask for your patience as holds may take longer as we work to manage backlogs and get delivery services back to normal levels at all of our member libraries.

What You Can Do

To help protect yourself and our most vulnerable populations please:

Questions You Might Have

How do I know if my public library is offering services to patrons?

Libraries are in various stages of reopening across the state. For the most up-to-date information contact your local library directly. CW MARS Member Libraries

I returned items, why did I get an email that they are overdue?

Overdue email notices are automated to run daily based on the status of items in the system. Because libraries are quarantining all returned items, your returned items may not be checked in from your account until the quarantine period is over. Please allow a few extra days to ensure the items are checked in safely. You can track items still checked out to you in My Account.

I returned items, why are they still listed as checked out in My Account?

If you have recently returned items to the library, they may still be in quarantine and might not be checked in until the quarantine period is over. Please allow a few extra days to ensure the items are checked in safely. You can track items still checked out to you in My Account.

How do I use curbside services?

Curbside pick-up hours and procedure vary by library. Libraries are using tables, tents, and lobbies for curbside pick up. Some libraries require appointments, others have specific days/times that items can be picked up. The best way to know the process at your library is to contact them directly or visit their website. CW MARS Member Libraries

Is my Library Open?

Libraries are following the current Massachusetts Phase/Step safety guidelines for libraries as well as national and local recommendations and guidelines. Libraries must be able to support disinfecting and occupancy guidelines required by the state for staff and patrons. Some libraries are open to the public for browsing by appointment only. Other libraries are primarily providing curbside services. For details on what services your library is providing, contact them directly. CW MARS Member Libraries

Why didn't my checked out items automatically renew?

During the library closures we extended due dates and turned off auto renewal. Auto renewal was turned back on on Thursday July 2nd, 2020. Items due on or after July 2nd will automatically renew if they have renewals remaining. If an item did not renew there may not be any renewals left.

Why aren't I receiving notifications?

During the library closures we temporarily turned off notifications. Email notifications are being slowly turned back on across the consortia. We started sending due date reminder notices on July 2nd. Patron library card expiration notices were enabled on August 4th and overdue notices were enabled on September 2nd.

Are there any library resources I can use remotely from home?

Yes! Our libraries provides a wide array of online resources, including e-books, audio books, e-magazines, etc for borrowing on our OverDrive platform, and through the OverDrive Libby app iOS | Android.

Massachusetts statewide databases are available and our libraries also offer other local online resources to their patrons that can be found by visiting their website: CW MARS Member Libraries.

How can I get help with using OverDrive or Libby?

Visit our OverDrive FAQ help pages for answers to frequent questions. You can also call or email your local library for assistance.

What if my items are due? Will I accrue late fees?

You can log into your account and see what you have checked out and if materials can be renewed. Please contact your local library if you have questions or concerns about due dates or fees.

What if my holds are ready for pick up?

You can see the status of holds and checked out materials via My Account. Help with My Account. Contact your local library for details on how to pick up holds: CW MARS Member Libraries.

Can I continue to place holds on materials through the online catalog?

Yes, but please note that while statewide delivery of materials gets up and running, your holds may take longer to be filled. We ask for your patience and in the meantime if you wish to cancel holds for items you no longer need you can do that via My Account.

My library card has expired or is about to expire. How can I renew?

Please contact your local library to renew your library card. You can see the status of your library card by logging into your account.

You will receive an emailed notice 7 days before your card expires, (as long as a valid email address is attached to your account).

I would like to sign up for a library card. How do I do that?

Please contact your local library to register for a library card.

I have questions about the Coronavirus. Who do I ask?

See the resources for Massachusetts listed below.

I have other library related questions. Who do I ask?

Please contact your local library. CW MARS Member Libraries

Information from Local, State, and National Agencies

Coronavirus Call Centers

Text COVIDMA to 888-111 to receive notifications to your phone.

Call 2-1-1 for real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents can call 2-1-1 to learn more about:

  • COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and treatment

  • Information about testing

  • Guidance for people planning or returning from travel

Callers dialing 2-1-1 will hear an automated menu of options. Callers press 2-6 for coronavirus.

For emotional support with stress or anxiety Call 2-1-1 and choose the “CALL2TALK” option.

Residents can also reach 2-1-1 through a live chat option on the Massachusetts 2-1-1 website.


Post Date: January 13, 2020

CW MARS Announces Record One Million Ebook and Audiobook Checkouts in 2019

Top 25 public library consortium worldwide in total digital circulation

CW MARS achieved a record-breaking one million digital book checkouts in 2019, a milestone for this library consortium consisting of 149 member libraries, including Worcester Public Library and Springfield Public Library. This accomplishment illustrates the continued growth and importance of library lending of ebooks and audiobooks along with the creative ways libraries have served their communities with digital services. CW MARS is one of 73 systems around the world – including standalone libraries and consortia – that surpassed one million checkouts through Rakuten OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform and its award-winning app Libby (complete list here).

"OverDrive demand and checkouts continue to grow,” said Jeanette Lundgren, Executive Director at CW MARS. “When we first offered our OverDrive collection in 2005, it took over nine years to reach our first million circulations. In 2018 we had over 1 million check-outs in one calendar year and in 2019 we reached one million checkouts in 9 months!” Betsy Perry, Director at Sutton Free Public Library, added “OverDrive delivers audiobooks and ebooks to patrons who want them - anytime and anywhere!"

CW MARS libraries have been providing readers 24/7 access to ebooks and audiobooks for several years. Reader interest and usage has grown every year, reflecting popular trends and interests both locally and across the country. In 2019, the highest-circulating title across both formats CW MARS readers borrowed through OverDrive was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. The top-circulating genre, thrillers, represents the most popular in a vast catalog that also includes fantasy, romance and children/young adult.

The top 5 ebook titles borrowed through CW MARS' digital collection in 2019:

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

2. Educated by Tara Westover

3. Becoming by Michelle Obama

4. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

5. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

The top 5 audiobook titles borrowed through CW MARS' digital collection in 2019:

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

2. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

3. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

5. Educated by Tara Westover

Named one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the 2010s and one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019, Libby seamlessly connects first-time users and experienced readers with the popular digital collections of libraries. Readers may browse the library’s digital collection, instantly borrow titles and start reading or listening for free with a valid library card.

Readers in central and western Massachusetts just need a valid CW MARS library card to access digital books from CW MARS' OverDrive-powered digital collection. Readers can use any major device, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ and Windows®. With Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle®” devices and apps [US only]. All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles onto Libby for offline use.

Visit or download the Libby app to get started and borrow ebooks and audiobooks anytime, anywhere.


CW MARS is a diverse multi-type library consortium made up of 149 member libraries located in Central and Western Massachusetts. CW MARS is the largest of nine library consortia in Massachusetts. Our membership is made up of academic, public, and special libraries of all sizes, from tiny towns with populations under 500 to large urban libraries with many branches. We were formed in 1984 to promote the sharing of resources between libraries.

About Rakuten OverDrive

OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. Named one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the 2010s and one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019, the award-winning Libby is the "one-tap reading app" for libraries. We are dedicated to “a world enlightened by reading” by delivering the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media to a growing network of 43,000 libraries and schools in 76 countries. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten.

Media Contact: Jeanette Lundgren, CW MARS,


Post Date: December 12, 2019

Your privacy is important to us!

We are adding more account security to better protect user privacy.

Beginning on January 21, 2020 please use your password/pin along with your library card number to access the CW MARS OverDrive collection for placing holds and checking out library econtent (ebooks, emagazines and audiobooks).

Use the same credentials as your CW MARS account login.

For more details visit the My Account help page.

To reset your account password see the Password Reset page.

For assistance, please contact your local library


Post Date: November 25, 2019

CW MARS Launched an updated website on Monday November 25th using the new Google Sites. The site is mobile-friendly and will automatically adjust to the best layout for your device whether you are using a computer monitor, phone, or tablet.

We've also updated our help documentation and reorganized our menus to make content easier to find. Have feedback to share? Contact your local library


Post Date: October 31, 2019

CW MARS is excited to welcome two new member libraries in fiscal year 2020:


Post Date: October 14, 2019

CW MARS Libraries wrote to Macmillan Publishers CEO, John Sargent to express their disappointment with the Macmillan ebook embargo planned to start on November 1st. The embargo restricts libraries to purchase one copy of a title during the first 8 weeks (2 months) from the date it was released. Libraries are expecting long wait times for these titles and are concerned about being unable to meet the needs of frustrated readers.

"This embargo punishes those who are most likely to rely on libraries. It perpetuates the digital divide and promotes inequity in access. Libraries are unable to serve the needs of patrons by purchasing additional copies. The assumption that during the 8 week embargo, sales from patrons will exceed what libraries would have spent on content is unrealistic. It is disheartening that you discount the sales that do happen as a direct result of library borrowing, discovery and promotion.

We implore you to work with libraries to provide equitable access to content for all readers. Our libraries have a responsibility to their patrons to provide access in multiple formats. Publisher embargos create a barrier to access that we can not support." Read Full Letter Here.

For more details on publisher restrictions on libraries see the OverDrive FAQ.

Join the campaign and sign the petition to demand #ebooksforall at


Post Date: October 4, 2019

Blackstone Audio has changed their policy for library audiobook availability. Starting in July 2019, library availability for select Blackstone titles will be delayed 3 months from their initial release date. The library community is disappointed in Blackstone’s decision. Library digital content suppliers are in ongoing dialogue with Blackstone to advocate a policy change. You may email Blackstone directly to provide feedback at


Post Date: July 10, 2019

On July 1, 2019 CW MARS turned on a new feature to allow checked-out physical materials that are able to be renewed to renew automatically.

Library patrons no longer have to remember to log into their account to renew the items they have checked out. If an item has a renewal available, it will automatically renew on the due date.

An email notification will be sent on the due date alerting patrons that a renewal has been attempted for your items. Check the body of the email to find out whether your items were successfully renewed or were unable to be renewed.

Items will not renew under the following circumstances:

  • if the maximum amount of renewals have already been reached

  • if you have fines totaling more than $10 on your account

  • if your account has expired

All CW MARS member libraries are participating in auto-renewal. This means that no matter which CW MARS library your materials are from, they will automatically renew on the due date if a renewal is available.

CW MARS and our libraries are committed to making borrowing materials as convenient and easy as possible!


Post Date: June 18, 2019

Visit any CW MARS library
Return material to any CW MARS library

In May of 2019 CW MARS launched a public awareness campaign to promote awareness of the power of a CW MARS library card.

Use your local CW MARS library card to:

  • Check out materials at any CW MARS public library across the state

  • Place holds on materials from any CW MARS library

  • Return materials at any CW MARS library

A CW MARS library card gives access to:

  • Over eight million physical items (books, DVDs, audiobooks, etc.)

  • Over 65,000 e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines

AND, if a CW MARS library doesn’t have what you’re looking for, you can get it from another library from across the state.

What do you love about your CW MARS Network? As part of the One Card, Many Libraries campaign, CW MARS libraries would also like to hear from residents about what’s important to them.

Residents can share their comments at: