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2022 Year in Review

Patron-centered and industry-informed: BiblioCommons helps libraries exceed patron expectations by delivering tech industry-quality public library experiences.

In 2022, BiblioCommons products and services continued to evolve while prioritizing patron functionality and supporting the online public library experience with a specific focus on data, accessibility, DEI, security, self-service, and functionality to delight library staff and patrons.

Download 2022 Year in Review PDF

Metrics and Reporting

New Product Initiative to Identify, Measure, and Improve Patron Engagement

BiblioCommons is developing a robust, shared North Star metric and data product to help libraries identify, measure, and improve their overall patron engagement. This new product will improve the ability of libraries (and BiblioCommons) to test and learn, share best practices, and drive long-term patron engagement and other strategic outcomes. The BiblioCommons approach is informed by existing work in the library measurement field as well as best practices from technology, hospitality, and retail sectors.

BiblioCommons is already working with founding partners but is currently looking to set up a second cohort of early adopter libraries to help refine this new product. Let us know if your library is interested in being involved.

Analytics and Reporting with GA4

Patron engagement is the foundation of everything public libraries do, but measuring online engagement can be challenging and time-consuming for library staff. In 2022, BiblioCommons invested further in developing and applying an analytics foundation across products so that libraries are supported and don't have to devote their valuable time to creating foundational analytics and reporting scenarios. Libraries will be better able to measure and increase engagement with the help of analytics infrastructure, coverage, and reporting using Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This work will ensure that libraries have clean data and reporting before Universal Analytics is sunset by Google in mid-2023. The BiblioCommons custom implementation of GA4 is now live for more than 80 libraries (and growing every day). It provides both the basics offered by Google and robust, library-specific custom tracking without the use of any personally identifiable information. The result will be richer insights for libraries and a foundation for deeper analysis and experimentation.

Accessibility, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Accessible Libraries for Patrons of All Levels of Ability

In addition to several improvements across the BiblioCommons product suite to improve ease of use and patron accessibility, BiblioCommons partnered with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) in Canada to review BiblioCommons services and received an excellent report of the BiblioCommons suite of services. The report is a testament to BiblioCommons' culture and its thorough product research and development. The commitment that BiblioCommons places on accessibility continues to be a clear differentiator when compared to other vendors that provide similar solutions and services to public libraries. In addition to ongoing accessibility enhancements, the BiblioTeam shared expertise through documentation, webinars, conference sessions, and a series of ten blog articles focused on online accessibility to support public library staff.

Korean Translations are Now Available in the Catalog and App

As libraries prioritized DEI, many expanded the translation options for their online services, and many more took advantage of the BiblioCommons language options available in BiblioCore and BiblioApps. In 2022, the BiblioTeam added Korean to the list of available languages so that even more patrons can enjoy an online catalog experience in their native language. To further support libraries' DEI efforts, all languages available in BiblioCore are also available in BiblioApps at no additional cost.

Improved Support Across Devices

While all BiblioCommons services are fully mobile-responsive, many users who use iPads prefer and enjoy the benefits of using BiblioApps rather than visiting the catalog via a browser. To that end, BiblioApps for iOS now has specific iPad functionality. Instead of seeing the app in iPhone compatibility mode, the app will adapt to the user's device, taking advantage of the iPad's larger display size.

iPad image by

New Events Listing Page for BiblioEvents

All libraries subscribed to BiblioEvents experienced the exciting launch of the new event listing page in April 2022. The new page layout improves the usability and user experience for patrons browsing the library's online and in-person programs and events. Plus, it features event-specific images to catch patrons' attention. In keeping with BiblioCommmons' focus on accessibility, navigating the filters in BiblioEvents with a screen reader is now more straightforward and intuitive. The BiblioTeam carefully chose a combination of layout, font sizes, images, and colors to make it easy for audiences of all abilities to scan and understand the information on the page.

King County Library System events listing page showing date, location, and audience filters and event listings with representative visuals.

Online Accessibility Tips and Best Practices

Public libraries are more than just buildings that house collections, they are inspiring places where people are empowered by learning and communities come to life. BiblioCommons is proud to support libraries by prioritizing accessibility and DEI to create online spaces that reflect, welcome, and celebrate the diverse communities that they serve. Tips and best practices about making website content accessible to users of different abilities can be found in the Partner Portal and on the BiblioCommons blog in a ten-article Accessibility series titled, "Library 2.0".


Major Upgrades to the Network Infrastructure

BiblioCommons runs a regular maintenance schedule to provide libraries with a secure and reliable platform. In 2022, security initiatives were expanded to upgrade the internal network infrastructure in the primary data center. This work included upgrading some core network devices and optimizing some network configurations to increase robustness, security, and performance, resulting in better support and maintainability for our network devices. BiblioCommons continues to invest heavily in infrastructure to provide an upgraded, resilient, reliable, secure, and scalable infrastructure across all systems and products. Partner Libraries can rest assured that a solid framework supports them so that they can focus on making an impact in their communities.


RFID Self-Checkout for Patrons: Convenient and Secure

In addition to barcode self-checkout, the BiblioApps team launched RFID-enabled self-checkout for libraries that use RFID security gates. With enhancements to cell phone technology, RFID tags can now be scanned via a cell phone rather than needing patrons to use RFID pads to disable tags to pass through security gates. San Antonio Public Library was the first Partner Library to beta test RFID self-checkout. BiblioCommons is also working with Ottawa Public Library as part of the beta testing process. RFID self-checkout supports the same level of self-service as traditional barcode self-checkout from a mobile phone but with the additional technology required for RFID security gates. RFID self-checkout will be available as an additional BiblioApps module in 2023.  

Usability Studies Guide the Redesign of Locations Pages

BiblioCommons designed and launched a new locations display page (available for libraries using BiblioWeb) to allow patrons to browse all library locations visually. Before the redesign, the display of the locations relied heavily on a map view. The BiblioTeam conducted usability studies that highlighted insightful findings: patrons are more interested in an A-Z view with large images of the library branches to locate and browse locations with specific services or other features. The new redesigned locations page is live with Arapahoe Libraries, Las Vegas Clark County Library District, and Jefferson County Public Library; and will be available to all other libraries that subscribe to BiblioWeb in March 2023.

““This is the best website I have ever seen. Your Web Team should be complimented.”

— Tacoma Public Library Patron

Staff Time

Increased Community Awareness of Library Offerings with Personalized Promotions

Personalized Promotions is a new feature designed to increase patron discovery and engagement with library-created content and services. The feature takes advantage of each library's BiblioWeb content cards, which can display online resources, events, services, and expertise to patrons as they browse and explore the library's collections. What makes Personalized Promotions unique is its sophisticated platform, which ensures patrons are presented with content that is relevant to their immediate interests and is defined by their search terms. Using library-curated metadata from BiblioWeb, BiblioEvents, and BiblioCore, Personalized Promotions will display the most relevant content to a patron without library staff needing to curate and select content manually. Chicago Public Library and King County Library System are the first libraries to pilot the innovative feature. In 2022, the BiblioCommons team worked on operationalizing Personalized Promotions and plans to roll out the feature in 2023 to all libraries using BiblioWeb.  

Chicago Public Library catalog keyword search for "baking" displaying personalized promotions in the catalog.
““I LOVE the library on-line. I have patronized the library much more and much more effectively online than I ever did before. I became so convinced of its excellence I contributed to the Chicago Public Library Foundation this year, for the first time. YOU GO, CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY!”

— Chicago Public Library Patron

Effortlessly Find Locally Created Lists  

While BiblioCommons shares staff and patron recommendation lists across all libraries using the BiblioCore catalog, many libraries asked for the ability to filter list searches to find only the lists created by their community or staff. To support this request, the BiblioTeam added new facets to the List Search page in 2022. Library staff can now effortlessly locate lists created by them or their local community, making it easier to manage and update recommendations shared in their BiblioCore catalog.

A close up look at the BiblioCore list search filters that include: List Type, Creator Type, and Library

““I love the online library.  It shows me books in categories I otherwise would not have checked given how it accurately defines your interests.  Thank you, it is great.”

— San Diego County Library Patron

Enhanced Recurring Events Promotion  

Based on requests from library staff, BiblioCommons improved how recurring events are promoted in BiblioWeb. Series Event Cards now promote the next event in a recurring pattern, automatically update with the next event as time passes, and provide patrons with easy access to view all dates in BiblioEvents. This type of automation is unique to BiblioWeb; and is an excellent example of how BiblioCommons works with Library Partners to build time-saving features that benefit library staff and reduce the amount of manual work needed to keep their event listings up to date, and ensure patrons see the most relevant events. BiblioCommons worked directly with preview libraries, including Arapahoe Libraries, Chicago Public Library, Pima County Library, and Sno-Isle Libraries, to develop and test this new functionality.  

Recurring event listings on Chicago Public Library's Teens page

Events and the BiblioCommons Community

New Professional Services Packages to Support Library Staff  

Based on requests from partner libraries, BiblioCommons has introduced a new Professional Services Catalog with services and training to supplement the library's expertise, provide updated and customized training, and help libraries reach their online patron experience goals faster and more effectively. Professional services include a taxonomy audit, a web design review and audit, and a format and audience mapping audit. Any library interested in more details can find more information in the Professional Services Catalog.  

The BiblioCommons Product Idea Portal

BiblioCommons values feedback and recommendations from library staff to continually enhance the user experience for the entire product suite. To provide better support and tracking of product enhancements across the BiblioCommons Community, the team launched an entirely new idea portal on the Aha! platform. The BiblioTeam migrated all existing feature suggestions and launched the new Product Idea Portal at BiblioCon, the Online Library Conference, in August 2022. With the new tool, partner libraries are better able to request, upvote, and track enhancements and product ideas.

BiblioCon '22, The Online Public Library Conference

In addition to hosting Library Partner events at PLA, ALA, and regional conferences, BiblioCommons hosted BiblioCon '22 online in August. Two days of fast-paced presentations featured speakers from across the BiblioCommons community, including consultants. The BiblioCon planning committee comprised partner library representatives and BiblioCommons team members. This virtual experience was provided without cost to participants and brought together public libraries and BiblioCommons experts in UX, product, and online engagement for interactive sessions and collaborative discussions. Conference attendees learned best practices to create exceptional online library experiences and had the opportunity to engage with public library peers. BiblioCon was open to anyone working in a public library — 570 people registered to attend the 28 informative sessions, and over 100 people requested access to view session recordings. BiblioCon ’23 will take place online. Save the dates and sign up to receive the latest BiblioCon news.

Exclusive Conference for Public Libraries: BiblioCon '23 Save the Dates - Online - Sept 20-21

Webinars and Panel Discussions Featuring Best Practices and Product Updates

The BiblioCommons team shared industry best practices and product updates via webinars and online panel discussions throughout 2022. Online presentations in 2022 included, “Best Practices for Promoting Online Resources,” “Enhancing Patrons’ Mobile App Experience with Self-Checkout,” “How to Create Online Content to Reflect a Diverse Community,” “What You Need to Know About Google Analytics 4,” and other product and industry topics.  All webinars are available on demand on the BiblioCommons website, under the Resources section.  


The BiblioCommons Community significantly grew this past year. Libraries that subscribed to BiblioWeb and the complete BiblioCommons product suite include Harris County Public Library (TX), Palm Beach County Library System (FL), Timberland Regional Library (WA), Glenview Public Library (IL), Dayton Metro Library (OH), and Kitsap Regional Library (WA). Additionally, eiNetwork (PA) started implementing the BiblioCore discovery layer, along with North Vancouver City Library (BC), Newmarket Public Library (ON), and Idea Exchange (ON).  

2022 also marked the expansion of BiblioWeb to new and existing library partners. Libraries launching new BiblioWeb-powered websites included: Yuma County Library District (AZ), Westerville Public Library (OH), Kenosha Public Library (WI), Chandler Public Library (AZ), Oshawa Public Library (ON), Aurora Public Library (ON), Strathcona County Library (AB), Public Library of Youngstown Mahoning County (OH), and Grand Rapids Public Library (MI).  

Libraries that subscribed to and/or implemented BiblioEmail in 2022 include Chandler Public Library (AZ), Edmonton Public Library (AB), Fulton County Library System (GA), Halifax Public Libraries (NS), King County Library System (WA), Tacoma Public Library (WA), Pima County Public Library (AZ), Yuma County Library District (AZ), Alameda County Library (CA), Red Deer Public Library (AB), and Westerville Public Library (OH).

BiblioCommons looks forward to 2023 as the team advances the Patron Measurement and Engagement Initiative with founding partners, provides insights into online patron behavior with GA4, and works on an ambitious roadmap to support an online patron experience that welcomes, inspires, and connects communities.

Download 2022 Year in Review PDF

About BiblioCommons  

BiblioCommons builds software that transforms the public library's essential online services—the website, the catalog, the events calendar, the marketing communications, and the mobile app—from transactions to experiences worthy of the public library. BiblioCommons powers integrated online experiences for many of the top public libraries of all sizes across the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.


For more information, please contact:
Eliana Franco, Marketing Director