Making The Invisible Visible: BiblioCommons Named Winner of the Knight News Challenge on Libraries

BiblioCommons Inc., in partnership with Boston Public Library, will build a mobile-based app to give patrons a deeper experience at the library, provide them with personalized recommendations and help them collaborate with library staff. The idea was named a winner of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight News Challenge on Libraries.

Making the Invisible Visible will be a location-aware mobile app, utilizing beacon technology, to connect patrons to staff and other patrons within the physical space of the library based on shared interests, locations and actions. Whether they are studying, looking for work, learning a new skill, or just looking for something to read, watch, or listen to, some patrons will want to find other patrons and staff who have a shared interest in what the library offers.

• At the library and just returned a book? Mention it on your library profile and see if someone nearby at the library has any suggestions for you.

• Setting up an open study group for a MOOC? ‘Check in’ at your library location and allow others interested in the same topic join you at your location in the library.

• Are you a librarian with specific genre-based knowledge? Add it to your profile, along with your location, and allow other patrons who may want reading suggestions to come find you.

“We’re excited to be able to work with Boston Public Library on this project,” said Beth Jefferson, co-founder of BiblioCommons. “By connecting the digital library, the physical library, and an individual’s mobile phone, we are continuing our vision of placing the library at the center of the community – the place where people can engage with each other, with their community, and with the civic web. This is a fantastic step in the direction of creating an interwoven physical and digital library experience.”

The Knight News Challenge on Libraries is funding breakthrough ideas that leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities. More at http://www.newschallenge.org.

“There is a growing demand for libraries to evolve their role and become more dynamic, living platforms, responsive to community needs,” said John S. Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president for media innovation. “The winners are working to reinvent the ways in which people experience the library, and providing citizens with the tools and information they require to contribute and strengthen our democracy.”

For more information on Making the Invisible Visible watch the video: http://youtu.be/OtRfDsVz_Mc

About BiblioCommons

BiblioCommons first started as a non-profit youth literacy initiative and now provides online solutions to public libraries worldwide. The BiblioCore catalog service replaces all search and account management functionality of the traditional web catalog, works on top of existing Integrated Library Systems (ILSs), integrates seamlessly with the library’s branding and website navigation, and delivers a robust social discovery experience. In addition to a full suite of complementary services, BiblioCommons recently released BiblioCMS, a complete solution for content and website management. Details on all services are at: bibliocommons.com/products

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

About Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.


Contact: For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Maxine Levine at 647 436 6381 x2026 or maxine@bibliocommons.com or Anusha Alikhan at 305 908 2677, media@knightfoundation.org.