This is a guest post from New Westminster Public Library reference librarian Shelley Wilson-Roberts.
The New Westminster Public Library is proud to announce our fabulous new catalogue called Bibliocommons, which you can find at http://newwestminster.bibliocommons.com. Bibliocommons went live on October 5th 2010 and we’re proud to be the first library in British Columbia to do so. While this catalogue system has been used in other provinces in Canada, including Ontario and Alberta, we’re the first B.C. library to have it up and running.
If you’re used to our old catalogue, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the search box has moved to the top of the screen, and that the login box is to the right. The first time you log in you will be asked to create a username of your choice, which will display publicly in the catalogue when you comment, rate items in the collection, or add items to a list. If you’d like some one-on-one assistance with the new catalogue features you can do so by telephone, email, or in person at the library, or watch for the blue circles with question marks for help in the catalogue.
Not only can you check your account and place holds easily, you can comment on items in the library catalogue and make topic based lists that reflect your own interests. Even better, your lists and comments are shared with others and you can see their lists as well, which makes it a really fun way to discover your next favourite book, CD or DVD, almost by accident. Lists can be made private if you do not want to share them with others. Plus, you’ll be able to view library staff picks and lists of recommended titles right in the library catalogue, which means you’ll be able to place holds on things that have caught your attention immediately. Bibliocommons also makes it easier to view Bestseller and Awards lists for your reading, viewing or listening pleasure, and placing holds on those titles is just as easy as anywhere else in the catalogue.
If you use Twitter or Facebook you can use those services to spread the word about favourite books, DVDs, and CDs because you can Tweet or Facebook straight from the catalogue. There are a number of other social networking features, too. You can also email items that interest you by using the built-in email function, or by using links that go directly to supported webmail services, which include Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail.
Have a great time getting to know the library all over again!