General FAQ

General FAQ

How do I get a CW MARS Library card?

To apply for a library card, you must go to a CW MARS member library in person. You cannot register or renew your library card online.

All who live, work, or study in Massachusetts can apply for a CW MARS public library card.

Required Information:

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.

Notes:

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.

How many items can I have checked out at once?

You can have 50 total items checked out at once.

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?

The decision to collect fines/fees on material by format and/or by patron type is made at the local library level. For libraries charging fines, DVDs and Videos accrue a daily fine no greater than $1.00 per day with a maximum fine no greater than $5.00 per item. Circulating print and audio material accrue a daily fine no greater than .10 per day with a maximum fine no greater than $3.00 per item.

Fines and replacement costs for lost items may be paid at any CW MARS member library. Charges may also be paid by credit card by logging into My Account online patron portal.

More information can be found on our Policies page.

Contact your local library regarding library-specific policies.

Do I have to return materials to the library from which I checked them out?

No. Library materials may be returned at any CW MARS member library.

How do I renew my items?

Sit back, keep on reading, and watch them renew automatically!

Eligible items are automatically renewed on the due date. An email notification will be sent on the due date alerting you 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 if they were unable to be renewed.

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?

Registered CW MARS library patrons can place requests for books and other library materials through the online catalog to be delivered to a local member library for pickup.

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.

How do I create an online account?

Your online account is automatically created when you get your library card 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

How do I log into My Account?

You can log into your account by clicking My Account in the top right of this website. You can also visit the login page here: https://catalog.cwmars.org/eg/opac/login

For more information on accessing your account, check out our Help page for My Account.

Can I pay fines and other charges online?

Yes!

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.

Notes:

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.

I'm being charged overdue fines but I know I returned the item.

Contact your local CW MARS member library for assistance in resolving this issue.

Fines are still showing on my account even though the librarian told me they were waived.

Corrections to your borrowing record must be made by contacting your local CW MARS member library.

The library says I have something out but I know I don't.

Resolution of this issue is between you and your local library.

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
  • Loan Auto-renewal status
  • Items overdue
  • 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?

Location of Recommend Option

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.

Where do I send feedback about the library system?

All comments, feedback, and suggestions about the library system should be directed to your local CW MARS Member library.