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Changes to Massachusetts Libraries and Requesting Items

   Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 - by: Brian Herzog, Head of Reference

Requesting items from the library is changing a little.

On July 1st, 2010, Massachusetts Library Regions (which facilitates lending books between libraries throughout the Commonwealth) will be condensed from six regions to one. This will cause two impacts to patrons of the Chelmsford Library, which is summarized in the official wording from the MVLC:

Due to the 28% cut in state tax support for Massachusetts libraries, materials delivered to you from other Massachusetts libraries may experience a delay, or materials obtained from libraries outside of Massachusetts may be assessed a charge by your local library, as of July 1, 2010.

  1. Because delivery centers, routes, and regional staff are changing, items requested from outside the MVLC may take longer to arrive. We're not sure what the impact will be, but we do expect delays as the new system is put in place.
  2. Chelmsford residents will not pay any fees to request items through the Chelmsford Library. However, non-residents will be charged $5.00 for any item that cannot be requested through the MVLC or state-wide Virtual Catalog. Any patron who fails to pick up an out-of-system item may lose the ability to place ILL requests. Also, any patron who returns an out-of-system item late may be charged an overdue fine (depending on the loaning library)

For more information on the regional restructuring, please see the Regional Transition Planning Committee Final Report and a Massachusetts Library System fact sheet [pdf] issued by the Patrick Administration and the Board of Library Commissioners.

If you are interested in requesting an item, please follow the steps below, or review our Interlibrary Loan/Network Transfer Policy.

1. Search the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium catalog
You can search for and request items by starting at http://catalog.chelmsfordlibrary.org (you'll need your library card barcode and PIN) - instructions for requesting items online

2. Search the state-wide Virtual Catalog
If the item you're looking for isn't in the MVLC system, click the Virtual Catalog link at the top of the MVLC catalog page (you'll need your library card barcode)

3. Request an item through library staff
If you can't find the item on your own, library staff can search outside the state for the item and request it on your behalf. Non-Chelmsford residents will be charged $5.00 (non-refundable) for this service, so check with your home library to see if they will request it free.

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