What is a "hold," and how do they work?

What is a hold?

"Placing a hold" is a way to reserve items in our catalog.

  • If all copies of the item you want are checked out, placing a hold puts you on the waiting list.
  • If a physical item you want is at a different FVRL branch, placing a hold tells us to send it to your library to pick up.

How do holds work?

How do I place a hold?

Here's how to place holds for physical items (and digital items from OverDrive).

Place holds in the FVRL catalog

  1. Go to the FVRL catalog and find something to borrow.
  2. Click the green "Place hold" button. (On a mobile device, tap the three green dots to find "Place hold.")
  3. Log in with your library card number and PIN, if you weren't already.
  4. Select your pickup library (or email address for digital items). You may also need to pick a volume number or year for magazines, graphic novels, or other periodicals.
  5. Select "Place Hold(s)."
  6. You'll see a message verifying the success of your hold(s). Click "OK" (or for digital items, just click the X in the corner of the message window).

Place holds in the FVRL app

  1. Open and find something to borrow.
  2. Tap the title you want.
  3. Tap "Place Hold."
  4. Confirm your pickup library (or email address for digital items). (You may also need to use "Select copy" to pick a volume number or year for magazines, graphic novels, or other periodicals.)
  5. Tap "Place Hold."
  6. You'll see a message that your hold was placed. Click "OK."

Place holds in the Libby app, OverDrive website, or OverDrive app

Place holds on eBooks and eAudiobooks through the OverDrive site or its apps by tapping "Place hold" or "Place a hold" next to the title you want.

What if I can't place a hold?

If you're having trouble placing a hold, or you get a "privilege is expired" notice, it probably means that you need to renew your account.

How many holds can I have?

How many holds on physical items can I have at one time?

Our different cards have different limits:

  • Regular cards: 50 holds
  • Educator cards: 50 holds 
  • Limited cards: 3 holds

How about holds on digital items?

  • eBooks and eAudiobooks from OverDrive: 10 holds
What is a "pending" or "placed" hold?

If your hold's status is "pending" or "placed," that means that it's not ready for pickup yet.

  • Maybe all the copies are currently checked out.
  • Maybe a copy is being sent to your branch for pickup.
  • Maybe your hold is on a new book that we haven't processed yet.
  • Maybe you haven't reached the top of the holds queue for that title.

Depending on the circumstances and number of copies, it can take anywhere from days to weeks for the title to become available for pickup. You'll likely see a place in queue number listed. If it says 1, that means you'll get the next available copy. If it says 4, that means 3 people are ahead of you in the waitlist.

I chose the wrong pickup location! How do I change it?
  1. Log in to your account (or our app).
  2. Select "My Account."
  3. Select "Holds."
  4. Select the hold you'd like to change (click the check box, or tap the three vertical dots in mobile, or tap the title in our app).
  5. Select "Change Pickup Location." 
  6. Pick the correct location and hit "Change." ( "Save" if you're in mobile, or "Change Pickup Location" in our app)
  7. Click "OK" to confirm.

If your hold is currently showing as available for you to pick up but isn't at the branch you wanted, please contact us with this information:

  • Your card number
  • Your PIN or birthdate
  • Title of the item(s) 
  • The branch you want as your pickup location

You can also change your default pickup location at any time by logging into your library account and editing your preferences.

How do I suspend or cancel a hold?

Suspend your hold

Suspending a hold lets you keep your place in line, but the hold won't become available until after the date you set.

  1. Log in to your account, or open our app.
  2. Select "My Account."
  3. Select "Holds."
  4. Select the title by clicking the box next to the cover image, or by clicking the three vertical dots on a mobile device, or by tapping the title in our app.
  5. Select "Edit/Suspend Hold(s)" or Suspend Hold.
  6. Enter the starting and ending dates for the suspension. (For digital holds, the start time is now. You just enter the ending date.)
  7. Select "Suspend," or tap "Suspend Hold" in the app.
  8. Select "OK" to confirm.
  9. Change your mind? You can cancel a suspension before it runs out:
    1. Click the green "Cancel Hold Suspension(s)" button, or "Resume Hold" in the app.
    2. Click "Yes" to confirm, or "OK" in the app.

Cancel your hold

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Select "My Account" in the top menu.
  3. Select the "Holds" tab.
  4. Select the hold you'd like to cancel by clicking the box next to the cover image. or tapping the title in the app.
  5. Click the "Cancel Hold(s)" button.
  6. Click "Yes" to confirm, or "OK" in the app.
How will I know when my hold is available?

Holds for physical items

We'll notify you by email, text, phone, or mail, depending on the contact information we have for you. If we have an email address or you have requested text messages, that's what we'll use. Otherwise we'll phone, but if we have no phone for you, we'll mail your notice.

You can also check in our app or the library catalog to see if your holds are available. Just look in the "My Account" section. Available physical titles will have a status of "being held" in the app or "pickup by ..." in the catalog.

Here's how to update your contact information.

Holds for eBooks and eAudio

How do I pick up my available holds?
Use curbside pickup or visit the library where your holds are available. Check for curbside or in-branch hours.
How long do I have to pick up or borrow an available hold?

Holds on physical items

You have 10 calendar days to pick up physical items before they are either sent to the next person in the hold list or put back on the shelf.

If you can't get to the library to pick up a hold within those 10 days, you may ask a trusted friend or family member to do it for you (with either your card or your card number and PIN).

Holds on eBooks or eAudio

You have three days (72 hours) to log in to OverDrive and borrow, suspend (i.e. "deliver later"), or cancel the title.

If you don't check out the available title within that period, your hold will automatically suspend for seven days, and you'll be notified the next time the title is available. If you don't check out the title the second time around, the hold will be cancelled.

I can't pick up my holds before they expire - can you extend the deadline?
We can extend the deadline if no one else has requested them. Contact us, and we'll see what we can do.
Can I see my hold history?

We don't keep a record of your holds on physical items.

However, if you're using the Libby app, you can see your eBook and eAudio hold history in your "Timeline."

Need more help? Please contact us!