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Online Learning / Distance Education

This guide will introduce you to all the tools that make research possible even if you're far from campus and taking one of our online courses.

Searching the Library Catalog

CW Mars logo depicting a mouse arrow hovering over an open bookIf you are a resident of western or central Massachusetts, you can search the C/W MARS catalog for books, eBooks, films, and other materials. Search by author, title, or subject by selecting one of these options from the lower right dropdown menu. 

You can borrow books and other items by placing holds on them. For more information about placing holds, see the box below. 


*For more information on searching the catalog and finding materials, click here.

Search for in Advanced Search

Placing Holds

Placing Holds in the CW/MARS Catalog

(Adapted from "Placing Holds in the Online Catalog" from CW/MARS)

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.

The web address for the online catalog is

First, log into your account and then enter your search terms in the search box and click the Search button.

As an example, search for mark twain. Among the results, you'll get "Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

To the right of the screen, you'll see a link to "Place Hold". Click this link. You'll be brought to a Place Hold page where you choose your pickup library location.

Choose your pickup library from the dropdown list and then click Submit.

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

That's all there is to it. You can be notified either by email or text message (or both) when the item is available for pickup. Just choose your preferred option before you hit Submit

Special Note: If you're placing a hold on something that has parts - like a DVD set, for example - on the screen where you choose your pickup library, 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.

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