How Do I Request a Book?

If there’s a specific item you’d like to borrow, you can place a hold on that item. Library staff will set the item aside for you to pick up at the circulation desk. If we don’t have the item at the Ventress, it will be sent here from another OCLN library.

For more information, select a category to jump to a section.

Placing a Hold

You can place a hold online by searching for the item in the online catalog. See How to Use the Catalog for more information. 

When your hold is available for pickup, you’ll receive an email, text message, or phone call per your account preferences. We will hold the item at the circulation desk for you for 7 days.

Note: Some items cannot be placed on hold, or are restricted to local holds only (that is, only the owning library's patrons may place the item on hold.) 

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Requesting a Digital Item

You can use the Libby and Hoopla apps to borrow ebooks, e-audiobooks, e-magazines, music, and more. For more information about Libby and Hoopla:

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Requesting Items from Outside OCLN

If no OCLN library has the item you’re looking for, we still might be able to get it for you from outside our network by one of the following methods.

Commonwealth Catalog

You can request physical items from Massachusetts libraries outside OCLN using the Commonwealth Catalog. ComCat covers most of the public libraries in Massachusetts as well as some academic libraries. Items borrowed through ComCat may take longer to arrive than items from another OCLN library.

To log into Commonwealth Catalog, select the Ventress Memorial Library from the dropdown, and enter your OCLN library card number and PIN.

Digital Items Outside OCLN

You can use your OCLN library card to borrow digital items from other Massachusetts library networks through Libby! In Libby’s instructions for adding library cards, see “Adding a card for a partner library”.

Out of State Interlibrary Loan

If the Commonwealth Catalog doesn’t have the item you’re looking for either, we can try to request the item from another library elsewhere in the US. 

To make an ILL request, please email Make sure to include your library card number and as much information about the item as possible, including the full title and author.

Some libraries that loan through ILL charge a lending fee. If we can only find your item from a library that charges, we’ll check with you before putting the request through. You will be responsible for paying the lending fee.

ILL items may take several weeks to arrive.

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Hold Wait Times

If we already have the item available in Marshfield, it will usually be ready for pickup within 1-2 business days. If the item needs to be sent here from another OCLN library, it usually takes 3-4 business days.

If you need an item the same day, please call us and we’ll set aside a copy for you immediately if one is available. If we don’t have an available copy, we’ll let you know if any nearby libraries do so that you can contact them.

If all the copies of an item in OCLN are currently unavailable, you will be added to a waiting list for that item. For extremely popular items like some books on the New York Times bestseller list, there may be a wait time of several months.

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Need more help?

Library staff are always happy to place holds for you or help you find an item! Ask us at the circulation desk, call us at 781-834-5535, or email (please include your library card number).

If you’d like a tutorial on how to use the online catalog, stop by the reference desk and we’d be happy to assist you on one of our public computers or on your own device.

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