Interlibrary Loan

Minerva LogoThe library is part of Minerva, a statewide resource-sharing consortium.  The holdings of all member libraries may be accessed through the library’s website.  Patrons may also access their library records online, as well as renew items, reserve items owned by Thomas Memorial Library, and request books and other materials from other Maine libraries.

Minerva is a consortium of more than 80 Maine libraries, including public, academic, school, and specialized libraries. By creating a statewide “library without walls,” Minerva eliminates geographic and socio-economic barriers, and provides access to more than six million library items.  The consortium improves library services for participating libraries and their patrons through automation and collaborative projects.

Minerva was originally created as part of the Maine Info Net Project, approved by Maine voters in a June 1996 bond referendum, to support improved library cooperation for the benefit of Maine citizens.  As a result of its rapid growth, the Minerva consortium is a key participant in MaineCat, which includes the Maine State Library, University of Maine libraries, Portland Public Library, Bangor Public Library, the SOLAR libraries*, and Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby Colleges.

A Library without Walls

The Minerva catalog includes over six million items—not only books but also DVDs & videocassettes, magazines, audiobooks, and music CDs.  You can search the catalog by author, title, subject, keyword, and material type.

If an item is not available in Minerva, you can search MaineCat libraries from the Minerva catalog and directly request MaineCat materials.  MaineCat libraries include academic libraries and additional public libraries across the state.  When your requested materials are available, they will be delivered to the Thomas Memorial Library for you.  If an item is available on the shelf at another library, it will usually be delivered to us within a couple of days.

Too Many Items Arriving at One Time?

Minerva libraries employ a statewide delivery service.  Because of the speed of this service, you may want to limit the number of requests you place at any one time to make sure you will have time to use the materials when they arrive.

If you have many items on hold and are afraid they will all arrive at once, you can access your patron record online and “freeze” selected holds so that they will not arrive before you’re ready for them.  Just make sure to go back into record to release them when you’re ready for them to arrive!  Not sure how to do all this?  Click here for instructions.