Plan Ahead for Disruption of MeLCat Service

Many students and faculty take advantage of Hope’s participation in MeLCat, the virtual catalog that combines resources from more than 400 libraries throughout the state.  Books, CDs, and DVDs are requested daily through MeLCat and are then delivered to the requesting patron.  This service will not be available towards the end of the Fall Semester.  Beginning on Wednesday, November 18, no new MeLCat requests can be placed while the entire system is transferred to new servers.  This outage is planned to last through December 11.  So it will be unavailable the final 3 weeks of the semester, just when students are working on their final papers for various courses.  Please take this into account when assigning papers, and make sure students know to request items sooner rather than later.  Items can be requested right up through November 17 and will be delivered as usual. No requests can be placed through MeLCat from November 18 through December 11. Interlibrary loan will still be an option to request material, but it often takes longer for items to arrive due to various shipping methods used by other libraries.

Let Us Get That for You

The library now offers a service where we will retrieve the items you want to check out and hold them for you at the Circulation Desk.  When searching HopeCat, simply click the Place a Hold link just above the search bar.  If the item is currently checked out, you will be notified when it is returned.  If the item is available, we will go get it for you.  If you are not already logged in to your library account, the system will prompt you to log in using your 1.Hope username and password.  (Guest users can use their library barcode and PIN.)  By the following afternoon, items you have requested will be at the Main Circulation Desk.*  You will receive an e-mail when the items are ready to be picked up, and you then have 5 days to come get them.   You may request anything that can be checked out, including (but not limited to) books, DVDs, CDs, and music scores.  You may also request items from Western Theological Seminary’s library.  The process is the same, but you pick up those items at the WTS library Circulation Desk.

*We are currently retrieving items only during weekdays.  If you request an item on Friday it will not be available for pick-up until Monday.  As always, wait for the e-mail notification that the item is ready and waiting.


Editor’s note: This post by Gloria Slaughter, Technical Services Librarian at Van Wylen, is in response to an actual question posed by a student at the reference desk. You can contact Gloria at

Question: Can I check out a book and a laptop at the same time?

Short Answer: Of course! You may have up to 50 library items checked out at the same time (books, dvds, cds, digital cameras, laptops, iPads, etc.)

Long Answer:

  • You must have your student ID to check out library materials
  • Your student ID can be used to check out library materials at the Western Theological Seminary library as well as Hope College libraries
  • You can renew your library materials online through the library’s catalog, HopeCAT  Instructions can be found here
  • You can place a hold on items in the library’s catalog, if it is currently checked out, HopeCAT. Instructions can be found here
  • You can borrow items from other Michigan libraries through MeLCAT.
  • If needed items are not available at our library or from other Michigan libraries, you can borrow materials through InterLibrary Loan
  • -Most library databases, ebooks and ejournals are accessible from off-campus and are available 24/7 through the library’s website
  • You can contact us anytime here