Rockford now has Max advantage

The Rockford Public Library recently launched Max, a new online catalog designed to bring the library’s patrons “maximum access” to the collections of the Rockford Public Library—an excess of 500,000 titles circulated throughout the Rockford Public Library’s six locations. Patrons can access the Max catalog anywhere they have Internet access by going to the library’s home page at and clicking on the “Maximum Access Catalog” banner.

“Max empowers people to use libraries in the comfort of their own home, 24/7, through the Internet,” said Rockford Public Library Executive Director Karen Van Drie. “People can roam the library shelves virtually, view book covers, read reviews and scope out their next selection using bestseller and recommended reading lists. The time-pressed user can make selections after hours, place them on hold, pick them up at the circulation desk and be on their way in five minutes.”

In addition to added features and benefits for library patrons, Max makes good business sense, too. The library’s decision to purchase and implement the new Max catalog system is, for the library, similar to a family’s decision to buy a house rather than rent an apartment year after year. To afford the number of licenses Rockford Public Library needed for the former, less-effective system, the library paid an annual bill of $76,800. The purchase price of the Max catalog was $187,000, paid in full, which includes an additional 16 computer stations licenses to serve the public at all locations.

With Max, Rockford Public Library patrons can:

Search the entire holdings of Rockford Public Library 24 hours a day, seven days a week anywhere they can access the Internet.

Place holds on items. When they become available, patrons will be notified that items are waiting for them at their chosen library location.

Gain better access to bestsellers. Buyers at Rockford Public Library will be notified every time a title takes off and additional copies need to be purchased.

See book jackets, reviews and contents online to decide if a title is the right one.

Sign up for notifications when the library buys a title on a favorite subject or by a favorite author or artist.

Renew checked-out items twice (if no one else is waiting) to minimize fines.

Find more items that are “new to you” at a specific library branch. Max allows Rockford Public Library to circulate materials throughout all six locations, so items on the shelf can change every day.

Patrons with any questions regarding the new “Max” system should feel free to contact the Rockford Public Library at (815) 965-6735, or via e-mail at To further maximize their access, free Max orientation classes are available to the public.

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