Troubleshooting ComCat


  1. Barcodes: Please check that the bar code you enter is the bar code on the item before you change the status to Shipped.  Once you ship the request, the bar code cannot be corrected.
  2. Ghost requests: You receive an item with a routing slip stating it is IN-TRANSIT FOR HOLD. You check it in and the slip prints indicating that it is a ComCat request (e.g. ***Libr). You go to ComCat and the item is not in your Pending list.  In fact, it is nowhere to be found in ComCat.  Why?
    • ComCat requests are sent to an MBLN library for 4 days only
    • Each library location/branch has 24 hours to fulfill the request
    • You’re first and if you don’t get to your picklist within 24 hours…
    • The request goes to a different location
    • That location picks it, checks it in and the slip indicates it goes to your location
    • You check it in and the slip indicates it should go to ***Libr
    • Most likely, 4 days have passed and the request has expired in ComCat (why you can’t find it)
    • It remains in Polaris until the hold is filled (why the second location sent it to you
      • Ghostbusters Solution: Check the item back into Polaris and do not reactivate the hold.  The ComCat request has most likely already been sent to the next non-MBLN library with holdings.
  3. Item from RTF list is not on the Pending list in ComCat: See above Ghost requests.
  4. Shipping reminder: Please do not “Check In” an item before shipping it.  The ComCat status will change to Complete and the receiving library will not be able to check it out to its patron.  Here are the steps in lending an item within ComCat:
    • We change item status to Shipped
    • They receive item and change status to Received
    • They change status to Returned and then return item
    • We receive item and change status to Checked In

Patron requests

Staff assistance: It is easy to place a request for a patron in the staff login on ComCat. The only catch is that the patron needs to have logged into ComCat with their library card and PIN at least once. Obviously, the patrons that ask us to place requests for them are not likely to have logged in on their own. Here are some tips based on potential situations:

  • The patron is in front of you: Either log out of staff mode or open a new browser and have the patron log in to ComCat. You can either complete the request in the patron’s account or log back into staff mode. If the patron does not know their PIN, you can reset it in Polaris.  (See Placing request for patron slideshow above for placing the request in staff mode.)
  • The patron is on the phone: If they are comfortable giving you their PIN, you can log them in to ComCat and place the request. If they do not know their PIN, they are going to need to visit in-person to place the request.
  • Patron requests are only searchable within the location to which they were assigned: Therefore, if a patron wants an update on their item, you may need to log in to another location’s staff mode to answer the patron’s question. That’s why we have listed the passwords on this site.
  • The easiest way to check on patrons’ requests, is to log in to the patron’s account: See tips for placing requests for patrons above.