How do I get a CW MARS Library card?
All who live, work, or go to school in Massachusetts can apply for a CW MARS public library card.
Residents of Massachusetts who live in a town with a public library certified by the MBLC to receive state aid may fill out the form for a CW MARS eCard* or go to the library in person to register. All other patrons may apply for a card in-person at the library.
*An eCard grants automatic access to electronic resources such as OverDrive. eCards can be upgraded to a full library card by visiting the library. See What is a CW MARS eCard? below for more information.
The following applies to in-person library card registrations.
Your first and last name are required. You will need to provide proof of identity and current address. Contact information such as a phone number, email address, and/or mailing address is required.
Libraries may collect additional information to help identify you such as date of birth.
Patrons who reside in municipalities where the library is not certified may have borrowing restrictions based on local library policy.
Patrons whose primary residence is out of state may have borrowing restrictions or card fees based on local library policy.
Detailed requirements can be found on our Policies page.
Contact your local CW MARS member library for further information.
How long can I keep material out?
Periodical, DVD and Video formats circulate for a minimum of 7 days with a minimum of 1 renewal of the same loan period. All other regular material circulates for a minimum of 21 days with a minimum of 1 renewal for 21 days.
More information can be found on our Policies page.
Contact your local library regarding library-specific policies.
Do CW MARS member libraries charge overdue fines?
As of September 2022, CW MARS libraries voted to not charge overdue fines. All general circulating material is fine free. Some specific exceptions (such as hotspots, equipment, museum passes, etc) may assess overdue fines, and these are determined by local library policy. Some libraries in the network are still working towards removing overdue fines. Because you may borrow materials from different libraries, you may see overdue fines on some materials and not others. Questions on overdue fines can be directed to your local library.
More information can be found on our Policies page.
Contact your local library regarding library-specific policies.
How do I renew my items?
Sit back, keep on reading, and watch them renew automatically!
An email notification will be sent out two days before your items' due date alerting you that a renewal has been attempted for your items. Read the email to find out whether your items were successfully renewed and which ones are due in two days.
Loans can be renewed manually ahead of the due date, as well. For more information on manually renewing items, see our Help page on My Account.
Note: There are limited renewals available on items. If you have reached the limit of allowed renewals, they will not renew automatically and cannot be renewed online. You must contact your local library.
Can I request books online to be delivered to my home library?
To request an item, click the Place Hold link when viewing the record for the item, then follow the on-screen instructions.
See our Help page for Placing and Managing Holds for detailed instructions.
If you need further assistance, please contact your local library.
What is the CW MARS eCard?
The CW MARS eCard is an electronic library card number that can be used to access online materials such as e-books, e-audio, and more.
CW MARS eCards provide access to e-content for 2 years before they need to be renewed. eCards can also be upgraded to full library cards at any point - see Can I check out physical material on my eCard? below for more details.
How do I apply for an eCard?
Please read through the form and Statement of Responsibility. The following information is required:
First and Last Name
Date of Birth
Email Address (your eCard number will be emailed to the address provided)
Current Home Address
After filling out the form, you’ll get instant* access to e-content.
*Eligible users will be provided with an eCard number immediately after registration that can be used to access OverDrive and other services.
Am I eligible for an eCard?
You are eligible to apply for a CW MARS eCard if you…
live in a Massachusetts town with a public library certified by the MBLC to receive state aid,
are age 13 or older,
and do not currently have a library card from a CW MARS member library.
If you have an existing library card, please contact your library to renew your borrowing privileges.
If you are not eligible to apply for a card online, please contact your local library. You may be able to register for a card in person. See How do I get a CW MARS Library card? above for more information.
Can I check out physical material on my eCard?
No. To check out physical material at your library, you will need to upgrade your card to one with full borrowing privileges. Visit your local CW MARS library and provide the following information:
Your CW MARS eCard number
Proof of identity and current address
For more information, see How do I get a CW MARS Library card? above
Can you help troubleshoot my CW MARS eCard?
The eCard registration can’t verify my information.
Make sure that your name and address are entered correctly. If they are, then the system is not able to confirm a name/address match. You will have to visit a CW MARS member library to apply for a library card in person.
See How do I get a CW MARS Library card? above for more information.
The eCard registration denied my request because it says I already have a card.
Please contact your local CW MARS library to follow up. You may have visited a library in the past and received a card. Or the system may be finding an inaccurate duplicate. Your local CW MARS library will be able to help. They can:
Find your library card number if it exists
Confirm if you have an existing account
Renew/update your account if needed
I can’t get into x service.
First, make sure your library card number is entered correctly. If you do not remember your eCard number, check the email you received at the time of registration. You may also contact your local CW MARS library, and they should be able to look up your account.
Next, check your password. Make sure you have entered it correctly. Check Caps Lock on the keyboard. To reset your password, click here. Enter your eCard number, and reset instructions will be sent to the email address you used when you registered for your eCard.
Your eCard may also be expired. See My eCard expired / will expire soon below.
My eCard expired / will expire soon.
CW MARS eCards are set to expire after two years. Seven days before expiration, you will receive an email with a link to renew your card online. Follow the link to confirm/update your information and renew your card for another two years. You can also renew your card by going to https://catalog.cwmars.org/eg/opac/myopac/main, signing in with your eCard credentials, and clicking the button labeled Click here to renew your account. This button will appear up to 28 days prior to the expiration date.
If you're having trouble renewing your eCard online or would prefer to renew your card at the library, contact your local library for help.
Your local library staff may also be able to upgrade your account to a library card will full borrowing privileges. See Can I check out physical material on my eCard? above for more details.
How do I create an online account?
Your online account is automatically created when you get your library card number and is directly connected to your library account.
For more information on accessing your account, check out our Help page for My Account.
If you have any questions about your account, please contact your local library.
How do I renew my account / library card?
Library cards expire every two years. You must visit a CW MARS member library to allow staff to validate your information.
Most libraries require that you visit in person. However, some will verify your account over the phone. It depends on the library's policy.
Contact your local library for further information
Can I pay fines and other charges online?
Fines and other charges can be paid from your account.
For a detailed look at paying fines and other charges from your account, click here.
Payments less than $0.50 (50 cents) will not be accepted by our CC processor. Smaller amounts can be addressed at your local library.
Online payments are non-refundable. You should make every effort to find and return lost items prior to payment.
Can I contact CW MARS directly?
Please contact the staff at your local CW MARS member library if you have additional questions about CW MARS or the services available to you via your library's membership to CW MARS.
How can I be notified for holds and other important information?
You can choose to be notified by Email or Text when holds are available for pickup. Your preferences can be adjusted from your account. See our Help page for My Account for more information. Some libraries may also telephone; check with your local library for library-specific policies.
As long as you have a valid email address attached to your account, other important notices will automatically be emailed. These include, but may not be limited to:
Hold expires from shelf soon
Items due soon and loan auto-renewal status
Items long overdue
Why am I not receiving email notices?
The following are common causes of this:
Email redirected into your spam or junk folder.
Sometimes notices can accidentally be misidentified as spam or junk mail. Some email programs will automatically send mail like this to a folder labelled Junk or Spam. If you discover this is happening, set your email client's preferences to indicate that mail from cwmars.org addresses is not spam.
Email notification unchecked in your account, (hold notices only).
You can decide if you want to be notified when a hold is ready to be picked up. If you're expecting an email notice for your holds but not receiving it, it is possible your preference was never checked in your account or it has become unchecked. You can look in your online account and make sure that your email notification preference is checked. (Account Preferences>Notification Preferences). Note that this will only affect future holds.
Incorrect/No email address in your account.
Be sure the email address attached to your account is up to date. If your email address is missing or incorrect, you can update your address through your online account. (Account Preferences main tab). Your local library will also be able to update your email address.
I want to offer a program at the library. Are you the right people to contact?
CW MARS only facilitates the sharing of resources among its members. We are not involved in local programming offered by our member libraries. Please contact the library directly.
How do I submit a purchase request for a book or other physical item?
CW MARS only facilitates the sharing of resources among its members. As such, we do not perform acquisition of materials.
This is done by each individual member library.
How do I submit a purchase request for an e-book or e-audiobook?
Titles available to buy in OverDrive but not yet purchased by CW MARS can be requested for purchase.
Titles not in our digital catalog will display a Recommend button. Click this button to request the title for purchase.
If enough patrons request the title, it will be added to the digital catalog, and you will automatically be added to the waiting list once it becomes available.