BiblioCommons 2016 Year In Review

2016 has been a very exciting year for the team at BiblioCommons! We’ve welcomed many new libraries to our family, both as BiblioCore and BiblioWeb libraries. We’ve made great strides toward increased accessibility and in making our products mobile responsive.

This year we were joined by libraries across Canada and the U.S., including Hennepin County LibraryMARINetTopeka & Shawnee County Public LibraryFort St. John Public LibraryDouglas County Libraries, and Kokomo-Howard County Public Library. Next to launch their BiblioCore catalogs will be Mid-Continent Public Library, Sno-Isle Libraries, Kansas City Public Library, Daviess County Public Library, and Vaughan Public Library in Ontario.

Early in 2016 new BiblioWeb sites launched at King County Library SystemSan Mateo County Library, and Tacoma Public Library. We were also thrilled to announce Arapahoe Libraries’ and St. Louis Public Library’s new BiblioWeb websites along with their BiblioCore catalogs, and are excited to debut BiblioWeb sites for Saint Paul Public Library, Boston Public Library, Omaha Public Library, and East Lansing Public Library early next year.

BiblioCore

The BiblioCore team introduced exciting new features and improvements ranging from increased responsive design to social and account features, and account linking.

Mobile Responsiveness: Early in the year we made responsive design a priority across all our products. In BiblioCore, this meant building on responsive account pages and search results, launching responsive bib pages and a responsive library dashboard, followed by a new responsive header. Patrons can now add comments, quotes and other content to a title record page while using a mobile device, and view availability information without any horizontal scrolling.

Social and Account Features: This year we’re proud to have increased the maximum number of items on lists to 100, and now allow patrons to “like” their favourite comments. The “While You Wait” feature provides recommendations in search results, for items that are not currently available. Profile Pages now include My Activity and Community feeds, while My Settings displays all account-specific settings and preferences in one place.

Account Linking: We originally developed account linking with the help of Seattle Public Library and King County Library System; in 2016 we rolled this out to three Kansas City area libraries: Kansas City Public Library, Mid-Continent Public Library, and Johnson County Public Library. Patrons can now have one BiblioCore account for all their shared content, and can easily switch between libraries to search for materials and manage their accounts.

BiblioWeb

In 2016 we rebranded BiblioCMS as BiblioWeb, to reflect the robust array of library-specific workflows now available. BiblioWeb is fully mobile responsive, and features unique new content types, increased flexibility and control for libraries, and will soon be entirely SSL-secure.

Carousel Console: With the release of the carousel console, libraries now have full control over the creation and management of Browse pages.  Libraries can create as many carousels as they want to feature catalog collections, user contributions, staff lists, blog posts and more.  With this flexible interface, the opportunity to feature seasonal catalog collections is a snap.  Libraries can now feature banner images across browse pages to create a visually branded experience.

Lightweight Form SSO:  Users that are logged into BiblioCore, will now see their contact information automatically populated on BiblioWeb forms.  This saves the user time, and creates a truly integrated user experience.

Special Content: Thanks to new development sponsored by King County Library System, we launched a new content type for BiblioWeb called Special Content. This has been leveraged by KCLS to showcase their early literacy content, and it can be used to list other large volumes of data.

BiblioCloudRecords

We’re also excited to announce the release of BiblioCloudRecords. Available to all BiblioCore libraries, BiblioCloudRecords eliminates the need for libraries to upload and manage eContent MARC records by automating the process of adding records and metadata directly to the patron catalog, saving staff time and giving patrons near-immediate access to eContent. BiblioCloudRecords is currently used with OverDrive records, and integrations with Hoopla and OneClickDigital are coming soon. BiblioCloudRecords is now live at St. Louis Public Library, and coming soon to Kansas City Public Library.

Accessibility

2016 saw considerable advancement in terms of accessibility. We’ve been working closely with our libraries to ensure that we are ADA compliant. In Core, after a lot of upheaval through the responsive design process, the team revisited this work to review and improve accessibility in terms of readability and contrast, screen reader support, keyboard support, and other accessibility practices. In addition, the Core team has begun to re-evaluate its UX design approach from an accessibility perspective.

In Web, some accessibility highlights include improvements made to the header & footer include all navigational drop-down menus, which are now more intuitive to access using JAWS; alt text and alt tags have been added to multiple library and social media icons as well as images; and functionality ensuring patrons using screen readers can activate various functionalities has been added.

Thank you for being part of the BiblioCommons family. We’re so pleased to have worked with you in 2016, and look forward to deepening our partnerships in the coming year.

Happy 2017 from all of us at BiblioCommons!