Based on feedback from the survey conducted in Summer of 2015 we have added new
features to our online catalog. These new features went “live” on February 23, 2016.
Listed below we have highlighted some features already available in our
online catalog that were mentioned in the comments section of the survey.
I would like a HELP/ “How to use” guide. Where can I access this information?
You can access our HELP pages to find information and directions on various topics including:
virtual catalog faqs
I miss the Virtual Catalog! How come I can’t use the Virtual Catalog anymore?
The Commonwealth Catalog has replaced the Virtual Catalog and can be used to search for and request materials that you can not find or are unavailable in CLAMS.
I can’t find the item I am looking for in CLAMS, how can I see if other Massachusetts library networks have the item?
The Commonwealth Catalog can be used to search for and request items that you can not find or are unavailable in CLAMS.
my account features faqs
Why can’t I see what number I am on the waiting list for a title?
Our library network’s software does not currently offer this feature. However, the ratio of requests to the number of copies in the CLAMS system will give you a good idea of the length of the wait queue. Check our My Account FAQs page for more information.
The CLAMS system does not have the item I want. How do I suggest a purchase?
You are welcomed to complete and submit the Suggest a Purchase online form. Suggest a Purchase can be found on the CLAMS online catalog homepage under My Account.
What is the difference between “Save to My Lists” and “Add to Cart”?
Both Carts and Lists are used to collect multiple titles that can be requested, printed, emailed, or saved to one’s account for later reference.
A “Cart” is like a shopping cart, it is temporary and exists only during your current session. Once you close your browser or navigate away from the CLAMS website the contents of your cart will disappear. You can add titles to your cart and then request all the titles in your cart at once or you can save to your “Lists.”
“Lists” are saved to a your account for as long as you want. These lists can be accessed whenever you log into My Account. Multiple lists can be maintained in your account.
To learn more about the “Add to Cart” and “Save to My Lists” features, please go to the Online Catalog FAQs page.
How do I request an item online?
To request a single item, search the catalog to find the item you want and then select the Request button . This will bring you to the login page. After logging in, the system will ask where you want to pick up the item. Select your desired pickup location, and then submit. When the item is ready for pickup at your selected location, you will be notified by phone or email.
How can I request multiple items at once instead of one-by-one?
You can request multiple items at once by adding items to your cart. When you a scrolling through a list of titles click the icon. Each item you add to your cart will remain in it until you are ready to “checkout” and request all items at once.
When you are done adding items to your cart click on then click Request Saved. This will bring you to your My Account login page. Log into your account, then click on Request All. A popup will show you the batch requesting process. After you see Request Successful next to each title you can then empty your cart
I don’t want to request items right now. I want to save items to a list for future requesting. How do I do that?
To save items to a list for future requesting, click on the icon Save To My Lists when scrolling through the search results page or while viewing a record. You will be prompted to log into your account. After logging in you can add the title to a list you have already made or select – Create a new list – A new list will prompt you to provide a “List Name” and “Description.” After submitting you will see a message, 1 record saved to “your named list” for later.
You can view your saved lists and the titles from those saved lists by clicking on the in My Account.
How can I renew my items online?
Go to My Account, View Current Checkouts. You can Renew All, or click the check boxes in the Renew column for the items you wish to renew, and then click Renew Marked. Some items, including those that are overdue, may not be renewable online. For more information on renewing, please go to the Requests FAQs page.
I can never remember my library barcode is there any other way I can login?
Yes, you can set up a username to log into your library account online. Please go to My Account FAQs to see how to setup a username.
How can I see what I currently have checked out and what I have on hold?
You can view your record, see what items you have checked out, renew items online, request items from the catalog, view the status of your requests/holds, create preferred searches, and rate items through My Account. For more information, go to My Account FAQs.
Why does my library card expire?
Library card registrations periodically expire so that library staff can be sure that information such as your mailing address, email address, and phone number are up-to-date.
Can I receive email reminders when items I’ve checked out are almost due?
Yes. If there is an email address in your library account, then you will automatically receive reminders 3 days before the item is due.
featured lists faqs
Where can I find a list of new titles added to the system?
You can find multiple new, coming soon, and other featured lists on the New Titles & Best Sellers page.
Where can I find a list of the most popular titles in CLAMS?
You can find multiple lists of the most requested titles in CLAMS on the Top Requests page.
I would like to see a list of titles in the CLAMS library network that are currently on the New York Times Bestseller lists.
CLAMS maintains multiple lists, updated on a weekly basis, of titles based on the New York Times Bestseller lists. These lists can be found on the New Titles & Best Sellers page.
I would like to see a list of items the libraries are going to purchase or a list of titles not released yet but are coming soon.
We have multiple coming soon lists, updated weekly, that users can browse and place requests/holds on. These lists can be found on the New Titles & Best Sellers page.
ADVANCED searching & features faqs
Why is the main page in the online catalog set to Keyword and not title?
Spell check, a feature on our online catalog, works best with Keyword search. If you wish to switch to Title, Subject, or Author search select the appropriate term in the drop-down menu.
Where can I find information on how to use the advanced search features?
Information and directions for how to use our advanced search features can be found on the Searching FAQs page.
I would like to see suggestions of other titles to check out based on titles I have read.
The CLAMS library network subscribes to Novelist Plus. This feature provides users of the online catalog title recommendations, series information, and other enriched content while viewing a record online (may require scrolling down the page to see additional recommended titles). As well as viewing enriched content from within the record a user can also go to the CLAMS Novelist Plus site for more in depth reader’s advisory services.
How can I search the CLAMS Online Catalog for just adult books?
CLAMS has recently set up a way to search different collections. These collections include searching only adult collections, only young adult collections, and/or only children’s collections. You can limit to each collection from the search box under “All Locations”.
How can I get to an advanced search from an existing search? I do not want to have to start my search all over again.
You can always modify an existing search without having to start from scratch. After your initial search is complete click on the button above the search box. This will keep your initial search intact but also will allow you to add advanced search options.
How do I borrow and download eBooks and eAudios from OverDrive?
OverDrive provides many help and “how to” videos on borrowing, downloading, and returning titles.