Placing and Managing Holds

Placing and Managing Holds: FAQ and Guide

Placing Holds

Holds are items that you have requested. You place holds on items that you request from other libraries so that they will be sent to you at your home library. You also place holds on items that you would like to receive but which are not currently available because they are checked out.

NOTE: You must be logged into your account in order to place holds. If you do not log in before you begin searching, you will be asked to log in when you try to place a hold.

The web address for the online catalog is

First, log into your account, (see our Help page on My Account), and then enter your search terms in the search box and click the Search button. For more information on performing catalog searches, see our Help page for Searching and Browsing the Catalog.

As an example, search for author mark twain.

Search example for mark twain

Among the results, you'll get The Prince and the Pauper.

Prince and the Pauper search result

There are two ways to place a hold on a title:

  • Option 1: On the right of the screen, you'll see a link to Place Hold. Click this link.

  • Option 2: Alternatively, click on the title to bring up the record's details. Look over the record as needed to ensure it is the desired title/edition. If you want to request the title, click Place Hold located at the top-right of the record. More information on viewing records can be found on our Help page for Searching and Browsing the Catalog.

Regardless of the route taken, the next page you'll see is the Place Hold screen.

Choose your pickup library from the dropdown list, confirm/update your notification preferences, and then click Submit.

Place Hold screen

You'll be brought to a Place Hold Confirmation page which will confirm that your hold was successfully placed. Click Continue to finish.

Place Hold confirmation example

That's all there is to it.


If you're placing a hold on something that has parts - like a DVD set, for example - on the Place Hold screen, there will be a dropdown list where you can choose which part you want. If you only want one particular part, be sure to choose it here. And then click Submit.

On the Place Hold page, you also have the option to suspend a hold on placement. Suspending a hold means that you would like the system not to fill the hold for the moment. A record of your hold will be kept indefinitely in the system while it is suspended. No attempt, however, will be made to fill the hold. A typical use of suspending a hold is to ensure that items will not show up while you are away from home on vacation. You can also suspend and activate holds from your account. More information on this below.

Occasionally, there are reasons why a hold cannot be placed. If you have a problem placing a hold, please contact your local library.

Viewing and Managing Holds

To view your current holds, log into your account and click the Holds tab. More information on accessing your account can be found on our Help page for My Account.

You current hold will appear under Items on Hold.

Items on Hold tab

For each hold on this page, you will see:

  • Title, Author, and Format.

  • Pickup Location. The library at which the hold should be picked up. Holds waiting for an item can have their pickup location updated through the Edit link.

  • Cancel if not filled by. By default, this date is 6 months from the time of hold placement. It can be edited using the Edit link. Holds available for pickup or suspended will generally have a blank "Cancel if not filled by" date.

  • Status. This will tell you if your hold is Available for pickup, in transit, or waiting for an item. It will also tell you your "place in line". Please take this number with a grain of salt. You may jump great distances quickly or be at a certain position for a longer period as items work to fill holds efficiently.

  • Notify Method. This will tell you how you've chosen to be notified for each hold. To update the method, use the Edit link or adjust the preferences stored in your account. See My Account: Account Preferences - Search and History Preferences for more information.

  • Notes. This will generally be blank.

  • Edit. Click the Edit link to adjust settings for the hold. More information below.

Edit Menu

To update settings on a specific hold, click the Edit link. From here, you can adjust Pickup Library, "Cancel if not filled by" date, Suspension Status, and Notification Methods.

Hold Edit Menu

Actions for selected holds Menu

This menu appears at the top of your holds list.

Hold Actions Menu

From here, you can Suspend a hold, Activate a hold, or Cancel a hold.

Suspending a hold means that you would like the system not to fill the hold for the moment. A record of your hold will be kept indefinitely in the system while it is suspended. No attempt, however, will be made to fill the hold. A typical use of suspending a hold is to ensure that items will not show up while you are away from home on vacation.

Activating a hold means that you would like the system to fill your hold as soon as possible. When you place a hold, the hold is automatically active. If you have suspended a hold but now would like to receive the item, you would need to activate the suspended hold.

Cancelling a hold means that you no longer want the item and you would like the hold request removed. When you cancel a hold, the hold will disappear from your display. If you have chosen the option Keep History of Holds from the Account Preferences > Search and History Preferences page, your cancelled holds will display there. See the Search and History Preferences section on our Help page for My Account for more information.

To use one of these actions,

  1. Check the checkbox next to the hold(s) you wish to adjust. The checkbox is at the beginning of each line item in your holds screen.

  2. Choose the action from the dropdown list above the list of your holds. Choose Suspend, Activate or Cancel, depending on what you want to do.

  3. Click the Go button.

Holds History

If you have the Keep history of holds? account preference checked, you can see a history of your holds by clicking the Holds History tab. Your history will contain open and available holds along with those fulfilled, suspended, and cancelled.

Advanced Hold Options

When you place a hold on an item, you will see a link to Advanced Hold Options underneath the item's title on the Place Hold screen.


If you Grouped formats and editions together on your Search Results page, the Advanced Holds Options will appear by default. See the Group Formats and Editions section on our Help page for Searching and Browsing the Catalog for more information.

Place Hold example showing "advanced hold options"

Clicking on the Advanced Hold Options link under the title brings up some additional options to choose from that are related to the hold. The picture below shows the two option boxes that will appear on the page: format and language.

Advanced Hold Options example

Here you can select the formats and/or languages you would be comfortable with receiving.

Selecting more than one format or more than one language is not the same as placing a hold on more than item. You are only placing one hold on one title, and that hold will be filled by the first item available in any of the formats or languages you have chosen.

For example, suppose you want to read The Two Towers in print but you don't care if it's large print or regular print. You can select Book AND Large Print Book. Whichever one of these is available first will fill your hold.

After you have made your selections, confirm your pickup library and other preferences as you normally would, and then click the Submit button near the bottom of the page and your hold request will be processed as usual.


The keyboard key and mouse click combination for selecting more than one option from a list varies depending on which operating system you are using. For instance, on Microsoft Windows systems, Ctrl+Left Click allows you to select more than one option.

Baskets: Batch Placing Holds

Baskets can be used to store a list of titles. For a general look at Baskets, please see its entry in Searching and Browsing the Catalog.

Basket Icon

It is possible to place multiple holds at the same time on all or some of the titles in your basket.

  1. Put the titles you which to place on hold into your basket.

  2. If you want to place a hold on all the titles in the basket, go to Basket Actions>Place Holds from the Basket function in the catalog. If you want to place holds on a portion of the titles in the basket, first to to Basket Actions>View Basket, select the titles for hold placement, and then choose to Place hold.

  3. If you are not logged in, you will be asked to log in. You'll then be taken to the Place Holds screen where you'll see all the titles you selected.

  4. Fill out your notification preferences as desired and confirm, (if necessary), that the correct parts are chosen.

  5. Optionally, select Clear basket after holds are requested if you no longer need the titles in the basket.

  6. Click Submit. A hold will be placed on all the titles. Remember that the hold limit of 20 items still applies.

Place Hold screen example from Basket Interface