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MIT's WorldCat Help: How do I...

Learn about MIT's WorldCat: features, how to and help

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Using MIT's WorldCat

Am I allowed to request materials via MIT's WorldCat?

Many MIT community members have WorldCat borrowing privileges. Outside users do not have privileges, but anyone may use the WorldCat interface to search. Please see below for more details:

Patron  Type Request Privileges
 MIT Faculty  Yes
 MIT Staff  Yes
 MIT Student: Undergraduate & Graduate  Yes
 MIT Spouse/Partner  No
 MIT Dependent  No
 MIT Other  No
 MIT Summer Program  No
 Draper Lab  No
 Lincoln Lab  No
 Whitehead Institute  No
 Retired Faculty & Staff  No
 Alumni Privilege Card  No
 Cross Registered Students  No
 Non-MIT Privilege Card  No
 Non-MIT Harvard Reciprocal Agreement*  No
 Non-MIT Wellesley *  No


* Users from Borrow Direct Institutions and Wellesley should request material through their home library's request system.

How do I log in?

  • If you want to log-in to your WorldCat profile, click on the WorldCat Log-in button located in the upper, right corner of the screen profile log-in. Your WorldCat profile does not link to your requesting account. See our features page for more information about how to create and use a WorldCat personal profile.

How do I log out?

To logout of a Touchstone session, close your browser. There is no "log out" button with Touchstone authentication. The "sign out" link, located at the top right of the WorldCat screen, will not log you out of your session.

How do I request an item?

Once you've located the item you want, simply click the request item button request item.

  • If the item is available from the MIT Libraries, you will be routed to Barton's Your Account.
  • If the item is available through a Borrow Direct library, you will be routed to the Borrow Direct request interface.
    • Please note, you will be routed to the Borrow Direct webpage to place the request. Once you are in the Borrow Direct system, you will see your search results. Click on the title you want and your request options will load on a new page.
      • Requests that cannot be filled via a Borrow Direct library will be canceled and you will be referred to the MIT Interlibrary Borrowing department for fulfillment. ILB staff will review the request and determine if it falls within their request parameters.
  • If the item is not available through MIT or Borrow Direct, a request button will appear beside WorldCat Libraries and you will be routed to ILLiad, the Interlibrary Borrowing (ILB) request form.

How long will it take to receive a requested item?

  • Items from the MIT Libraries generally take 1-2 days.
  • Items from BorrowDirect typically take 3-4 days.
  • Items from ILB generally take 5-7 days.

How do I find the status of my request?

1. request from MIT - items requested from the MIT Libraries can be tracked in Barton's Your Account.

2. - items requested from Borrow Direct can be tracked through the Borrow Direct request interface. 

3. Request from WorldCat - items requested from "WorldCat - find it in libraries globally" can be tracked in ILLiad, the Interlibrary Borrowing (ILB) request system.

If you are uncertain about where your request is coming from or simply need help, Ask ILB.

How can I see what I have on loan?

Once you have checked out an item at an MIT Libraries' service desk, you can track the request through Your Account, regardless of how the item was obtained. 

How do I import lists into WorldCat Discovery from my User Profile?

If you have a user profile in WorldCat already, either while at MIT or earlier, you can easily import your lists into WorldCat Discovery. 

1. Log in to and go to your profile:

2. Click on Lists, and the next screen will give you the option to download your list as a .csv (you'll need to create a separate .csv for each list you want to import):


3. Log in to WorldCat Discovery and either log in to your account or create a new one if you've never used this feature in Discovery before:

4. Once you are logged in, go to "Import My Lists"

5. Give your list a name and description, then select your .csv for import

6. Repeat as needed.  

To recreate favorite Libraries or searches, just make note of what has been done in and re-favorite or re-create these in Worldcat Discovery.