From resource management to resource discovery

BiblioCommons provides a richer, interactive, community-based experience for our customers who are increasingly turning to the web for their information needs and leisure time.

We know many of our customers spend a significant portion of their time interacting with people and resources online: rating, reviewing, discussing, tagging, and exploring new possibilities for reading, listening, and viewing. BiblioCommons will allow customers to do this within our library catalogue.

Think of BiblioCommons as the equivalent of spending time in the library, browsing the shelves, displays and recent returns, is to walk-in customers. Discovery products like BiblioCommons allow our customers to explore library resources packaged in a familiar interface with social functionality.

Until recently, public catalogues have been simplified versions of our Integrated Library Systems, designed for resource management, not customer discovery. While customers currently have online access to the library catalogue, they may not all understand it, or be able to use it effectively. The music group, the AnAACRonisms, have even created a musical explanation of why customers find traditional catalogues dissatisfying: The OPAC sucks. Warning: it’s loud.

BiblioCommons should take the frustration out of customer/catalogue interactions and, instead, make it an enjoyable experience. As Marshall Breeding says in his review of discovery tools for library content: “Library management systems provide for the requirements of library personnel; discovery products serve library users”.

Read the full article: The State of the art in library discovery 2010 in Computers in Libraries; Jan2010 (Vol. 30 Issue 1, p31-34).

Sarah Harper
Hornby Library

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