InterLibrary Loan: ComCat helps you find books statewide

You saw an amazing book at your friend’s house called Book Art: Iconic Sculptures and Installations Made from Books , but you can’t find it in your library’s online catalog.

When you visit the library for help, you’re sent to “Reference” where a librarian busily types at her keyboard. You hear her mention something called “ILL”….”ComCat”….”WorldCat”…um, what are all these cats?

Welcome to the beautiful world of inter-library loan –  ILL! It’s all about libraries sharing* books, DVDs, CDs, playaways – whatever they’ve got – with the patrons who want them, wherever they are. Let’s take this one cat a time.
ComCat stands for Commonwealth Catalog, which allows you to search beyond the libraries in the Minuteman Library Network (shown below in blue). With ComCat, you can search the collections of the eight other Massachusetts library networks.

Using ComCat, it’s easy to search and request items yourself! They’ll be shipped to Robbins Library and you’ll be notified when they arrive. Just get your library card number and password  handy, and head to

1. Enter the title (or author, or keyword) to search:


2. Click on the title you want:


 3. On the next window, click “request”, then fill in the info below and “submit”.


Good luck searching! Next time, WorldCat!

*Generously, unlike your “friend”.

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7 Responses to InterLibrary Loan: ComCat helps you find books statewide

  1. John says:

    That seems super easy to use, thanks!

  2. lbreslow says:

    I usually get intimidated if there’s more than one screen I have look at in order to get something done on the Web, but even I can use ComCat using Anna’s directions!

  3. Lisa A Van Someren says:

    Wow! So happy to hear there’s a service like this. In the past I’ve been disappointed when unable to find a book I want in my network. Thanks!

  4. Dave says:

    Thanks for this tip; it makes it easier than ever to find and request my next book. This removes one of the most frustrating parts about using the library for me – thanks again!

  5. Pamela Northridge says:

    Thank you for expanding our knowledge about online search tools and for the clear explanation of “how to”. I sent a link to your blog to my friend who does much research online.

  6. Pingback: InterLibrary Loan: ComCat helps you find books statewide – organizing thoughts

  7. Pingback: InterLibrary Loan: What is WorldCat? – organizing thoughts

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