Catalog Tips & Tricks

Become a library power user with these handy tips!

Keep an eye on the number of available copies

Sometimes when you search for a book, you see two or more options that look virtually the same. The two options for Barrel Fever shown below are both regular print books, which is indicated by the format icon (circled in yellow) beneath the title and author. The first option is a paperback edition ("1st paperback ed."); the second option is a hardcover ("1st ed.").

But the more important difference between the two options (for our purposes here) is the number of copies associated with each option and the availability of those copies.

  • The second option has only 1 copy in All CW MARS Libraries and it is not currently available. This is indicated by "0 of 1 copy available" in the highlighted area.
  • Meanwhile, the first option has 13 copies in All CW MARS Libraries and 11 of them are available. That makes this option the best one to select when requesting this book (aka: placing a hold on it). One of those 11 copies is likely to be available quickly.

NOTE: The option with the most available copies does not always appear first on the list.

Barrel Fever - Best Option

Change your notification preferences

  1. Log in to the catalog via My Account
    • Enter your Username (your library card number with no spaces, unless you created your own)
    • Enter your PIN (the last 4 digits of your library card number OR your last name in ALL CAPS, unless you created your own)
    • If you have any trouble logging in, call our Reference Desk at 413-259-3096
  2. Select Account Preferences
  3. Select Notification Preferences
  4. Check or uncheck the boxes to select notification by email, phone, text message, or some combination thereof
  5. If you opt to receive notifications by text message*, you will need to select your Mobile Carrier from the drop-down menu and also enter your 10-digit Mobile Number with no spaces or dashes (see screenshot below)
  6. Select Save

* Carrier changes may apply.

NOTE: Any changes you make to your notification preferences will be applied to holds you place AFTER making the changes, but not to existing holds.

Change your notification settings (e.g., opting to receive text message notifications)

Keep track of your reading history



  1. Log in to the catalog via My Account
    • Enter your Username (your library card number with no spaces, unless you created your own)
    • Enter your PIN (the last 4 digits of your library card number OR your last name in ALL CAPS, unless you created your own)
    • If you have any trouble logging in, call our Reference Desk at 413-259-3096
  2. Select Account Preferences
  3. Select Search and History Preferences
  4. Check the box next to Keep history of checked out items?
  5. Select Save
To view your reading history, select Items Checked out and then Check Out History.

NOTE: Your history will begin with items checked out AFTER you turn on this feature.

We will be adding more tips in the future. Stay tuned!