BiblioCommons replaces your existing online public access catalog (OPAC) with a hosted discovery layer delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS).
We developed a better way to integrate with the ILS
We install a lightweight "connector" component inside your library network, which acts as a secure proxy to your ILS accessible only from our servers. The connector uses sophisticated logic to leverage the specific APIs and access points available for each ILS, and integrates deeply into your ILS to enable a comprehensive range of functionality:
- Harvest functionality to synchronize all MARC and item data to our servers on the cloud, where we maintain our own cache of bibliographic and item data, and our own custom search index. Once the connector is installed, updates are done automatically and continuously in near real-time, with no nightly scripts for you to maintain.
- My account integration capabilities to authenticate patrons, fetch borrowing information, and proxy user actions back to the ILS, all in real-time. Borrowing data is fetched on demand during login, and kept only for the duration of the user session. User actions such as placing holds and renewing items are reflected immediately in the ILS. All existing My Account functionality is supported, including checked out, holds, fines, reading history and account messages.
- Real-time item availability integration to display current availability status and hold queue length on demand.
We built a better OPAC from the ground up
We apply our mapping, display and search algorithms to your data to provide better search and borrowing functionality than your current OPAC. Our multi-tenant SaaS architecture allows us to constantly update and improve our algorithms, and we've done so by incorporating thousands of pieces of user and library feedback. The result is best-in-class search and borrowing functionality.
Because it was built from the ground up, our architecture is based on current best practices, and leverages leading open source technologies including Ruby on Rails, Solr/Lucene, and PostgreSQL.
We built social discovery right into the product
Since social features are built right into the product, users are presented with many more opportunities to share and discover. And every user on the system has their own unique username, so creating content and connecting with others is easy and addictive.
All shared content, including ratings, lists, comments and more, are aggregated and shared across all participating libraries. And sharing doesn't depend on records or identifiers matching perfectly as it does with "bolt on" social solutions. We've developed advanced matching algorithms to ensure that all shared content is aggregated across libraries and even editions.
We made it open and extensible
We built a REST API to enable catalog data to be integrated into your website or repurposed on the web. For example the API can be used to feature a collection, or a list created by library staff. We also support widgets that allow you to feature catalog data with minimal integration effort.
Or you can extend the catalog by choosing from a library of pre-built integrations with third party solution providers, including catalog enrichment, analytics, federated search, and fine payment providers. More pre-built integrations are being added all the time.