Regular visitors to the Okanagan Regional Library’s website and online catalogue have recently noticed a big change as the ORL launched a new enhanced catalogue with social networking features. The catalogue is the most visited part of the ORL website, where customers can search for resources, place holds and manage their accounts. The enhanced catalogue will include all of these functions, plus add interactive elements such as being able to write comments and rate materials, create reading lists, and follow recommendations of other library users throughout North America.
This new catalogue is powered through software called BiblioCommons, a company based in Toronto. Over the past two years, BiblioCommons software has been implemented to manage catalogues at some of the largest public libraries throughout the continent including New York Public Library. Using the enhanced catalogue means ORL customers will be able to view comments and reading recommendations from library users at all libraries that run BiblioCommons software.
“This enhancement really brings the ORL’s catalogue into the social networking age,” says Lesley Dieno, the ORL’s Executive Director. “It allows customers to interact and participate in the library experience in much the same way Facebook acts for their social lives, or the way some book retail websites allow for ratings and comments.”
Both the previous “standard” version of the catalogue and the enhanced one will be available from the ORL homepage so customers comfortable with the previous catalogue can continue to use it. Visitors to www.orl.bc.ca will be able to choose “standard” or “enhanced”. Before using the enhanced catalogue, customers are encouraged to read the “Getting Started” page; as with all social networking sites, there are privacy issues to using the new catalogue customers need to be aware of, such as managing privacy settings in case you don’t want comments to be public.
Okanagan Regional Library