Searching Far & Wide

When trying to find a book, movie, audio recording, or other item, we recommend that you start searching locally and gradually broaden your search until you locate the item.

You can follow these steps:

  1. Search the Jones Library & branches
    Find instructions and tips for searching and placing holds at CW MARS Help.

  2. Search the CW MARS consortium (most central & western MA libraries)
    Find instructions and tips for searching and placing holds at CW MARS Help.

  3. Search the Commonwealth Catalog (many MA libraries, including UMass Amherst)

  4. Search & borrow directly from the UMass Amherst, Amherst College & Hampshire College libraries
    Traditionally, Amherst residents can visit these libraries, get a free library card, and borrow items directly. However, community access may be restricted due to COVID. It's probably best to call ahead.

  5. Search WorldCat to view library holdings worldwide
    If U.S. libraries own the item you want, we can request it via ILL (see below).

  6. Request via Inter-Library Loan (ILL)

    (most libraries across the United States)
    Cost: $1 per request (non-refundable). Contact our Reference Desk to get started.
    We can't guarantee we'll be able to borrow the item, but we're happy to try.
Generally speaking, we are not able to borrow a new book (one published within the current year) via ILL. It can also be difficult to borrow a CD or DVD via ILL, though we can try. We might be able to purchase newly-published items for our collection instead. To request that an item be considered for purchase, please submit a Purchase Suggestion.

If you're looking for magazine, journal, or newspaper articles, see Finding Articles.

Updated October 25, 2022