Please note: While not required, for best results, patrons and staff should log in prior to searching and requesting. 

  1. Enter search term(s)
  2. Limit your search (optional)
    • Use   to select a search type - default is Keyword
    • Use    to select which network(s) to search - default is All
  3. Press ‘Enter’ or click  to view search results screen

Figure 1 - Commonwealth Catalog Home Page



Note: The search results screen may flash while search results are being retrieved from each network.

 4. Search results are clustered by title. Titles with multiple formats or editions are grouped together (figure 2)

Hover the mouse over a cover to view Action Buttons.
  • Request This Item - if there is only one version of the item in the cluster.  This takes the patron directly to a request form.
  • View Details - if there is more than one version of the item in the cluster.  This takes the patron to a list of items to choose from.


5. Locate the title you want and click an Action Button, or click on the cover itself to view more availability details.


Figure 2 - Search Results Screen



6. If the title has multiple formats, or editions you will see a list (figure 3).  If there is only one item you will see detailed information for that item (figure 4).

7. Click the Request This Item button to place a request or click on the cover image in the list to view detailed information about a specific item

Figure 3 - A title with multiple formats or editions.

Figure 4 - detailed item information


Patron Requesting

Before you can place a request you will be asked to enter login credentials (figure 5):

  • Select your library
  • Patrons can select their library by scrolling through the drop down list or by typing the library name or code in the box.
  • Library field will auto-fill as the user types 
Note: The library selected upon the patron’s first login will be permanently set as their “home” or “default” library for future logins and pick up locations for requests.


2. Patron’s library card number or barcode

3. Pin (or Last name) - Depends on network 

Figure 5 - Login Screen

4. After logging in, the ILL request page is displayed (figure 6).  Confirm request information is correct and click ‘Submit’ button

  • If an email or phone number does not pre-populate in the form, enter the information manually. 

    Figure 6 - ILL Request Page




    Tracking or Modifying Requests in My Account

    Track request progress and manage the request using the “My Account” feature.
    When logged in, click the name in the upper right corner.The Items from Other Libraries category shows active requests on the patron’s account.

    Change Pick-Up Location

    Patrons can change the pick-up location for a request from the request window or in My Account.  If the location name displays as a drop down menu, the location can be changed.  Once an item has Shipped, the location can no longer be adjusted and the drop down menu is no longer active.

    Select new pick-up location

The page will automatically refresh.  A new request with the new pick-up location takes the place of the original request.

Cancelling a Request
If a request has not yet been Shipped by the lending library, a patron can cancel a request.  Click the grey “Cancel Item” text to the right of the request.

Confirm the cancel by clicking OK in the pop up window.
The request will remain in My Account until the lending library acknowledges the cancellation.
Patrons cannot cancel requests in the Unfilled status.  Patrons can cancel items in Retry status.
Checkout and Return

  • Patrons will receive an automatic email notification from the Commonwealth Catalog when the request is Received and ready to be picked up at the pick-up Location (Borrower) Library. 
  • The patron may check out the materials for 28 days. 
  • Renewals are not allowed by Commonwealth Catalog policy. 
  • The patron should return the item to the library where they checked it out. 

Staff Requesting on Behalf of a Patron

Log in as staffGo to item record and click Request.  Staff will be prompted to search for the desired patron.Note: A patron must have logged to ComCat in at least once in order for them to appear in the patron selection list.

  • Select a patron. 
  • The request form will appear with the patron’s information
  • Click Submit to send the request. 

When Staff request on behalf of a patron:

  • The request is automatically approved and sent out, even if the patron’s account is set to require staff approval
  • Staff can override the “Duplicate Request” message – submit more than one request for the same item
  • Staff can override if the item is available in their local system