Library card holders with the Santa Clara City Library might notice that to perform online library activities nowadays, such as renewing books, they have to enter a four-digit PIN number in addition to their card number. This added procedure is just one of many changes library card holders will see as the Santa Clara City Library is in the process of installing a new online catalog system.
“The library is implementing a new catalog system called BiblioCommons in the next few months,” said Paul Sims, Assistant City Librarian for the Santa Clara City Library. “It’s going to improve the way customers find books, DVDs, and anything else that is in the library. When this project is done, people will see recently rated books by librarians and users. They will see featured lists created by librarians. They will see improved search options. One other thing they will see is all the e-books and downloadable audio books fully integrated into the catalog. I’ve been working closely with the staff to manage the implementation of this project.”
According to Sims, the Santa Clara City Library initiated the planning process for this new system in early Fall of 2018.
“We discovered that we wanted to implement the security features in December 2018, like requiring a PIN number when people access their account,” Sims said. “We’ve been improving our catalog record and database during this transition time. We’re shooting to release the new catalog in April 2019.”
Sims explained that BiblioCommons uses advanced software to integrate what people have searched for across their entire platform to give users the best results.
“It allows patrons to first track and organize everything they’ve read, seen, listened to or want to read in the future on the catalog,” he said. “It allows library staff and librarians to feature the latest titles and hot new releases and list of books by topic or interest. If the patron desires, they can share their reviews or lists or they can interact with each other about books they have read. Librarians can share their recommended reading lists.”
Sims shared that the community feedback has been mostly positive in regards to the library’s improved security features, such as the PIN request designed to keep library records safe and private.
“The system you’re using now is an older catalog system that we enhanced, a system that doesn’t have all the features of our upcoming catalog,” Sims said. “It may take some time to get used to. We’re working hard to make sure everybody knows how to search and find the books they’re looking for.”
When the contract on the previous catalog was expiring, the Santa Clara City Library had to find a new catalog system.
“We evaluated our options,” Sims said. “Since libraries like Palo Alto, Santa Clara County and San Mateo County have had great success with this catalog, we decided to move forward with BiblioCommons. BiblioCommons is more inexpensive than our previous catalog.”