Hold Labels: Fiction or Non-Fiction?


Currently the story about hold label printing is located in the non fiction section at most libraries. Well it's misshelved!  Why? For many valid reasons, but first let's start with the authors who are vendors. Vendors; say it is not so! That fact alone should send up a red flag. As a vendor we can say that because we understand our customers, know our competitors and we have a sense of humor. The current hold label printing story was authored by a consortium consisting of a few select vendors that have utilized certain liberties in product marketing. Combined, these liberties create an enhanced sense to this story's perception of being Non-Fiction. My father was a large animal veterinarian who had another phrase to describe such ambiguity " Now that's a pile of cow dung!"  With that tidbit of down to earth reality I am going to divide this blog article into two chapters. One chapter each for the paper and the printers. Also I'll assign pseudonyms to the authors of this current story as Vendor "B" and Vendor "V". 

Chapter One: "Sticky" Holds Paper 

The paper story is truly a story of what is not being told versus what has been penned to date. Neither Vendor "B" or "V" have seen fit to share and market the fact that 100% of the sticky holds label paper is manufactured by one remarkable American company. This significant omission provides vendors with the ability to author unique name branding and part numbers lending credence to sole sourcing. In one case Vendor "V" even created a snappy two word product descriptor that was trademarked.

           The $19,000,000 Toilet!

          The $19,000,000 Toilet!

Remember the $19,000,000 toilet? It was uniquely branded with a catchy name, descriptor, and strategically marketed with a unique part number. This strategy worked for the vendor because the customer did not perform purchasing due diligence relative to potential competition. Need I state the obvious, oh sure why not! Like the toilet drained NASA's budget, the current sales strategy to sell hold label paper and printers is designed to "flush" dollars from your library budget. It also leaves libraries interested in developing a self check out holds area on the budget launch pad.



  • All libraries using the paper to date love the products functionality and quality.

  • Many more libraries want to use the product especially for holds self check out when budget justified.

  • You don't have enroll in a adhesive club to receive discounts nor wear a club badge to prove it. To paraphrase from the Mel Brooks classic Blazing Saddles: "Librarians don't have to wear no stinkin badges!". 

  • The paper is made by MAXStick International in Lancaster, PA. The product is patented and has a trademarked name of  MAXStick. All products are BPA free, have an FDA approval for food labeling, and all are proudly made in the USA.
  • The part numbers you purchase should be the MAXStick OEM part numbers not a distributors hybrid part number.

  • Starting in 2014 each paper roll will be marked with the MAXStick logo (as shown below). Anything else just won't be MAXStick so look for the logo when you receive your shipments.

  • The paper is not called "sticky" holds paper, nor hold labels that are handy! It's simply called MAXStick.

.                                            MAXStick also manufacturers BPA free "Non Stick" Receipt Paper!

 Look for the MAXStick logo on your rolls in 2014!

Look for the MAXStick logo on your rolls in 2014!

Chapter Two: Holds Label Printers

Somehow the singular offering of one brand (Brand E/Restick) of printer by these same vendors has morphed into a library urban legend. The myth behind the legend consists of the belief that this printer is the only one that works for hold labels and is the only one compatible with your ILS. Whenever I hear this myth during my meetings at libraries I do my best to suppress my "tween" gene that wants to shout out (or text) " Like OMG seriously, like you think that's for real?" but sadly I can't say or text that. This myth has been further propagated by library computer services personnel referencing this Brand E printer in installation manuals, ILS help guides for hold label design, and recommendations to staff.  In my numerous discussions with circulation department heads, they told me they consulted with their computer services personnel and computer services reconfirmed that this was the only printer available. The Brand E/Restick printer is an excellent choice for hold label printing but contrary to this myth it is not the only hold label printer. Actually there are numerous choices available and all are plug and play with your OS and ILS. 


  • MAXStick International (the paper OEM) must certify the printer as MAXStick compatible. A receipt printer manufacturer will submit their printer for certification to MAXStick. This certification entails a series of intensive testing over an extended life testing period. 
  • There are 19 brands of printers and 33 models that are certified as of 01/01/2014,not just one! Not all are  applicable to the library market, but there are still plenty of choices remaining.
  • ILS Software companies do not make printer brand/model recommendations. Many have clearly stated  that publicly on social media and in customer service help forums. 
  • Printers have drivers which are compatible and dependent on a computers OS (operating system) such as MS Windows or an Apple OS. The ILS does not "drive" the printer to function. The ILS uses the printer.You simply choose the printer, set up the holds label, scan the material, and then click print for your hold label.
  • Due to the "only printer available" myth the current market price for Brand E/Restick printer is set at $349.00 or higher.  
  • Because you now have printer choices, you can reduce the impact on your budget by purchasing other printer brands at cost savings ranging for $50 to $70 per printer.Those savings will allow you to purchase a lot more rolls of MAXStick. Visit our shop for cost savings.

Unfortunately, the original search engine community was and continues to be fire walled on this topic. We hope that by providing these facts more libraries can now continue their quest to initiate a hold labeling system and implement self check out holds areas. Now that you have the facts, you can justify the removal of the hold on this project in your budget.  

Just a few examples of our customers hold and self service area shelves.