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BiblioCommons (Kate Charuk)

What is BiblioCommons?

BiblioCommons is a platform used for online public access catalogues (OPACs).  It’s embedded right into library websites. Many public libraries are using BiblioCommons including Edmonton Public Library, New York Public Library, Ottawa Public Library and Vancouver Public Library.

BiblioCommons does a lot more than older generation library catalogues that only let users search for materials. Instead, BiblioCommons users get involved in making and sharing new content, commenting on the collection, and connecting with the community of people that use it.

If you regularly use BiblioCommons, you may think you know it inside-out — if so, this module should be a breeze! For most of us, though, there are at least a few features we’ve not yet explored such as tagging, video reviews, recommended lists and following other users.

How Do I Get Set Up?

Log in boxMany staff will be familiar with this process.  If you already have a BiblioCommons account set up skip to the next section.
For staff new to BiblioCommons:
  • Make sure you have an active library account and you know your password
  • Click the “login” box on the website and fill in your bar code number and password
  • Create a username, add your email address if you would like to receive emails notices about your account, and sign off on the terms of use.

Okay, I’m Signed Up. Now What?

First, take some time to explore your account.My Account
  • My Borrowing: see materials you have checked out, on hold, and recently returned.  You can also see fines and pay them online.
  • My Collections: track materials you have read (“Completed”), are in the middle of reading (“In Progress”), or want to read (“For Later”). There is also a section for lists you create “My Lists.”
  • My Community: connect with other library users.
Now, let’s jump in:

Part 1 – Rate and review

Find a title of something you’ve read/watched/listened to/played in the library’s catalogue search box.  E.g. “The Paper Bag Princess”.Paper Bag Princess search When you find it in the search results you’ll notice it may have an “Average Rating” of stars next to it. When you click on the item title, you should see a place for “My Rating.”  Select the number of stars you think it’s worth.  Ta-da!
You should get a message like this:
Completed Shelf message
When you rate an item it automatically adds it to your “completed” shelf.  Go to your shelf and see your new item.
**It’s important to know that you can set items in your shelves to be “private” (viewable only by you) or “shared” (publicly viewable in the catalogue). You can see whether an item in your list is private, because it will be marked with a lock icon. lock icon
If you hit any snags, remember you can always ask other staff, the Learning 2.0 Coordinator, or consult the BiblioCommons help directory.
Add a comment
Ok, now let’s contribute something more substantial than a star.
First, find an item in the catalogue you can say something about. Scroll down the item description until you get to Community Activity.
Read what others are saying, then click the blue “Add a Comment” button – and tell the world what you think.
While you’re at it, check out the other tabs:
  • Age: suggest an appropriate age range
  • Summaries: add these for items that have incomplete information (lots of other language materials are catalogued without descriptions)
  • Notices: warn people about particular content
  • Quotes: offer fun teasers
  • Videos: include an embedded link to an online video — hosted, for example on Youtube or Vimeo.

Continue to BiblioCommons – Part 2


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