New Online Library Catalog Coming Mid-April: How You Can Prepare



Over the weekend of April 14-16, the McHenry Public Library and the other 24 libraries in our consortium will be migrating to a new online catalog/patron account system. You’ll see a new look as you search for library materials, and will be introduced to new features to improve your library experience.

Before April 14

Save Your Reading Lists and Checkout History

Unfortunately, neither your reading lists nor your checkout history will migrate to the new system, but we’ve made it possible for you to save both before the system goes down at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 13 (this only applies if you have created lists and checked the “Record my checkout history” box in your account preferences).

Email/Print Your Reading Lists     

You can email or print your current reading lists before April 13:

  1. Log in to your library account and click on My Lists.
  2. Select a list on the left-hand side, then use the check box next to the “Select an Action” drop down to select all items in the list. Click on the blue “Select an Action” arrow, then choose either email or print.

Export Your Checkout History

  • To export your checkout history, use this link to log in to your account. Enter your library card number, your password IN ALL CAPS and email address to have your history emailed to you as a spreadsheet. Note: your current holds or current checked out items will not be included in your checkout history.

Note: If you have selected “Record my checkout history” in our current system, that setting will transfer to the new system -- you will not need to opt in again.  If you never opted in for this feature, you can do so in the new system in your account preferences. You’ll be able to create new lists in the new system as well.


April 14-16

  • The system will go down starting at 9 p.m. Friday, April 13, and the new system should be up and running on Tuesday, April 17
  • You can still check out items during the downtime, but you'll need your valid library card with you -- staff won't be able to look you up in the system. 
  • During the downtime, you (nor library staff) will not have access to your account to renew items, place holds or pay fines, so we recommend you renew/return items before then, or hold onto them until the new system is up (we will be extending due dates). 
  • Items returned to the library April 14-16 will not be checked in until after the new system is live, so they’ll remain on your card, but you will not incur late fees. 
  • The catalog may not be up to date during the downtime, so feel free to call us about item availability. You can also visit other area libraries to see if they have the item you’re looking for. 


After April 17: Features of the New Catalog

  • A better, faster browsing experience. The new catalog is optimized for smart phones and tablets, making it great for on-the-go browsing. If you have our catalog bookmarked in your browser, be sure to update the web address.

  • You can create an easy-to-remember user name to log in to the new system (rather than trying to remember your 14-digit barcode each time.)

  • You can now select to be notified about holds and overdues by text message in addition to email or phone.

  • Your items will automatically renew 3 days before your due date, up to 2 times, if there are no holds on them. (This excludes non-renewable items.) You’ll also receive a courtesy reminder when your materials can no longer be automatically renewed.

  • You can pick up your holds at any of the 25 partner libraries in the consortium, not just your home library.

  • Your library account password will be the same in the new system, except it must be entered in ALL CAPS. For example, if your password is currently lovebooks1, it will be LOVEBOOKS1 in the new catalog.

  • Keep track of what you want to read and watch with the My Lists feature, or opt-in to save your checkout history to revisit old favorites.

  • The Map It feature shows other libraries in the area that have the item you’re looking for if our copy is checked out.
  • When you have overdue items, you can get an estimate on how much you owe with the fine estimator.

  • Change the catalog to another language to make searching easier for non-English users.


New Self-Checkouts/Automated Returns

Another project we’re working on to improve service is a new item identification system that will make checking out and returning items easier.

  • Our new self-check stations will allow you to pay fines with a credit/debit card and check out items easier!

  • A new state-of-the-art return system at our drive-up window will allow items to be taken off your account instantly – just load them one at a time! Watch for this in the spring, too.

Please feel free to call the library at (815) 385-0036 or stop by if you have any questions about the new catalog/account system, or click here to read more details about it in our spring newsletter. We hope you like its new features!