How to Find What You’re Looking for in Library Catalogs

Note: This guide is for locating print and other physical media. For online materials, check our Online Library page.

How to find out if an item is available to borrow:

Search the Madison Library online catalog

If you find your item, you can either:

  • Place a hold online:
    • Click on the “place hold” link next to the item you’d like to borrow.
    • Log in to your library account. You will need your 14-digit library card number. This is the number that appears under the barcode on your library card, entered without spaces. You will also need your password. If you do not have a password, contact us to request one.
    • Review details, then confirm your hold by clicking on the “place hold” button. If your library account includes an email address, you will get an email notification when item is ready for pickup. If your account does not include an email address, you will get a phone call.
  • Or, contact us, and we’ll place the hold for you.

If you do not find your item:

Search the NHU-PAC catalog (combined catalog of all New Hampshire libraries). Search Tip: use drop down list to specify if you’re searching by title, author, subject, or ISBN.

If you find your item in the NHU-PAC catalog, you can either:

  • Email us ( using the form at the bottom of the item’s webpage. Be sure to change the subject heading of the email to “Request for [your name]” or we won’t know who you are.
  • Or, contact us to place an interlibrary loan request.

If you do not find your item, you can either:

Double check your title and/or author information at WorldCat or Amazon. Spelling counts in library catalogs.

Or, if all else fails, contact us to track down item, we love this type of reference detective work! We have a very good track record for finding items and locating libraries to lend them.