One advantage of a shared code base and our emphasis on configuration rather than customization is that the BiblioCommons team can quickly develop, test, and implement new versions of BiblioCore—the heart of our services and our complete OPAC replacement service—every 3-4 weeks.
Many of the versions and updates are bug fixes or edge-case accommodations, but many also provide significant enhancements for patrons and staff alike. As we develop a feature or request for one library (or a consortium of libraries), all BiblioCommons libraries benefit.
A quick look back on the new functionality and enhancements added to BiblioCore in 2011:
Now Available in 5 Languages
English, French, Spanish, Russian and simplified Chinese are all supported. Interested in another language? BiblioCommons partners can sponsor or co-sponsor the build of a new language to help meet community needs. Contact your project manager (Amanda or Jason) for more details.
Personal Landing Pages Display Account Details and Recommendations
Now when patrons log in, BiblioCommons display an overview of their account activity, as well as recently shared items by people they follow, and items on their “For Later” list that are currently available.
New In-Context Help System Results in More Flexibility, Multi-Language Support
Although most of the help system enhancement was on the backend with a software transition, the end result for patrons was to support full “help” in multiple languages and to provide future flexibility to customize, provide library-specific information via “Help.” The enhancement also lays the foundations for the partner library staff portal (coming in 2012).
Continuous Usability Enhancements Ensures Positive Patron Experience
BiblioCommons conducts regular user research to enhance the user experience and test the usability of new functionality that is added to BiblioCore. As all librarians know, it’s the details that make or break the overall experience, and new enhancements in 2011 included improved privacy messaging and visibility of buttons and icons to more closely align with current Web trends.
Successful Security Audit Results in Minor Improvements
As a result of a 3rd party security audit by the firm, Cigital, BiblioCommons made a few minor changes, such enhancements to the patron log-in option. Although very little patron data is actually stored in BiblioCommons, we prioritize security and privacy.
I want “Titles that I Can…” Access-Based Facets Improve Patron Experience
Who wants to see a lot of non-circulating reference titles when you need something you can check-out and bring home? Or maybe a patron only wants items that are online. By adding the new facet, libraries can display “special” item availability statuses including “In-library use,” “Restricted access” and “Available by request.” See more at New York Public Library or Daniel Boone Regional Library.
New Configuration and Reporting Options for Library Administrators
Library administrators can now configure the 3rd tier navigation of their BiblioCommons site. Additional, new patron reports were added, giving libraries direct access to any patron feedback submitted via BiblioCommons as well as reports regarding their community’s content contributions such as tags, reviews, lists, and top community contributors.
Integrations with Serial Solutions 360 Search, EBSCO’s Content Café and Novelist Improve Patron Experience
In most public libraries, the catalog accounts for between 70 and 90 percent of web traffic—which is why it’s so important to be able to integrate important resource such as databases and other licensed content thoughtfully into the catalog. Look for more integration with other popular library products in 2012.