Enjoy Your Vacation and Pause Your Holds

It's summer and time for a little rest and recreation. Maybe you've got a trip planned — to the cape, to visit family, or to somewhere far away and exotic. Maybe you've got a lot of activities lined up — trips to the beach, afternoons spent hiking, or barbecues with friends. But remember that bestseller you requested from the library back in the damp and chilly spring? You could be next in line for a copy of it at the most inconvenient time. Avoid missing your chance to read that book because you were too busy or out of town. Pause that hold!

If you know you're not going to be able to pick up or read something you've requested a hold for, log in to your account on our website. Go to the user menu in the upper right corner of your screen and select "On Hold". Here is where you can check your place in each request queue. If you're nearing the front of any, click the "Pause Hold" button to suspend the request until you're ready to check out that title.

The best thing about using this feature is that you don't lose your place in the queue! Your request will continue to advance as copies become available and are checked out. Don't worry about missing your turn because once you hit the #1 spot. We'll jump over your suspended request to let the next person check it out. For this reason, you may even want to suspend holds for which you appear relatively far down the queue. If people ahead of you have suspended theirs, you won't want yours to be filled unexpectedly early.

People have found a lot of different uses for the Pause Hold feature besides vacations.

  • Trips for business or during an especially busy time at work.
  • Keeping a suspended hold at the top of the queue until just before a vacation. Check it out to read on your trip and avoid missing a due date because you're away!
  • Managing a large number of requests that have the potential to be filled at the same time.

That last strategy is my favorite. It's great for books in a series or a bunch of DVDs. Let's say you'd like to read all the books in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series in order. If you placed a hold for each one as you finished them, it would take a very long time to get through the series. But if you place requests for all five published books at once, they could be filled out of order. You don't want A Feast for Crows to show up before you've even read A Game of Thrones!

Go ahead and place all five requests but suspend 2-5 for a long time — say, a year. After the first hold is filled and you're near the end of the book, go to your account and click "Resume Hold" next to book number two. Keep going like this and you'll be done with the series in a jiffy!

Some things to remember:

  • You can't pause holds that have already been filled. If it's already sitting on a shelf with your name on it, we can't pass it on to the next person.
  • You can pause anything you can request — books, DVDs, CDs, graphic novels.
  • You can also pause OverDrive titles! This might be a smaller concern if you're going away. You can download and stream library materials while out of town. Pausing your hold can come in handy when you're busy though.

Now that you've gotten your holds in order, you deserve a break. Enjoy your vacation!