My library system just updated our catalogue with Bibliocommons. Here are some of the features I enjoy:
Even if you don’t use the advance searched options initially, it’s easy to narrow your search results if you come up with too many hits. Being able to narrow by what branch a book is currently in is a vast improvement in itself compared to the standard catalogue where you had to go into each record to check that.
Just like on Goodreads.com it’s easy to keep track of and share what you’ve read, what you are currently reading and what you plan to read. This can either be visible publicly or kept private to use as your own records.
3. If you click it, the new online catalogue keeps track of what books you return to the library. People often ask what they borrowed a few weeks ago because they forget the title and want to recommend it to a friend. Now I can give them a solution, where before for privacy reasons we did not keep records of what people borrowed.
4. Lists, now the catalogue allows you to have multiple lists. This is great for sorting books I want to use for displays, recommend to specific groups or just keep track of different genres and such. I like being able to make my own and I love being able to browse other people’s lists.
5. Finally I have a place to share and keep track of book trailers! You can link to video in any record, and this is helpful for marketing books especially to young people.
6. Reading reviews by other readers both in my area and elsewhere is something I always loved about shopping for books online. This takes it one step further by breaking down feedback into helpful sections.
I love being able to give half stars! And I like that when you hold the mouse over a star it describes what that amount of stars means, such as “above average”.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I love rating things. Books, movies, tv shows, games….
8. Tags: Cataloguing rules can be funny, and terminology used in subject heading is not always the most intuitive. I argue that words people are likely to use should be easily searchable, and here is where tags come in. If anyone feels a book’s subject headings aren’t enough to describe it they can add a tag. This just makes everything that much more likely to show up in searches. For example, post-apocalyptic books are popular right now but that’s not one of the subject headings are cataloguers use, so if I add that tag to a bunch of titles I know have that subject when someone searches “post-apocalypitc” they will get results. It’s great because it creates more opportunity for finding read-alikes.
9. “Did you mean?” I confess I’m terrible at spelling. Sometimes I’m searching for something to no avail and then I realize I’ve been misspelling my search terms. Now I’m stubborn and will keep looking or use a dictionary or spell check in word or sometimes even Google to correct my spelling but a lot of people will just assume the library doesn’t have the book and move on. So I am very happy that the new catalogue suggests alternate spelling when there are no results and it seems to be bang on with the suggestions.
10. Holds! This probably won’t be a big deal for the average user who only has a few holds, but I have a tendency to have hundreds of holds at a time on my office cards because I plan ahead for storytime and SRC and all sorts of displays. The new catalogue lets you sort your holds by what’s suspended or what’s active and is much easier to navigate in terms of finding what I’ve ordered for when.
Does your library have these interactive features for their catalogue? Do you use them? What do you like or dislike about them?