Through the generosity of The Seattle Public Library Foundation, The Seattle Public Library partnered with BiblioCommons – the vendor which supplies our online catalog – to improve information access and delivery for our patrons. In this partnership, the Library and BiblioCommons developed several innovative features for the catalog based on patron feedback and user trends that are helping us anticipate future information discovery needs.
Some of the enhancements include features that will feel familiar to social media users. Patrons have options to follow other patron and staff reviews, lists and “likes” through feeds and notifications, as well as the ability to like comments and curated lists to show appreciation for a fellow patron or Library staff member’s work. Patrons can accumulate “community credits” and receive virtual badges for commenting, liking and reviewing both Library resources and user reviews and lists – user badges will be coming soon!
The investment by The Seattle Public Library Foundation also helped to create new ways to showcase Library staff and their content to catalog users, such as highlighting staff content on individual item pages and recent activity pages, new ways to incorporate different staff recommendation lists such as the Your Next Five Books lists and user profiles for staff to elaborate on their areas of expertise and interest. Patrons can now also receive email updates on various topics curated by staff.
We are always looking for ways to improve the patron experience at the Library, be it in a physical or digital space. Play around with the new features and please let us know what you think! Thanks to generous funding of The Seattle Public Library Foundation, these features will benefit not only our patrons and staff at the Library, but will benefit other BiblioCommons libraries throughout the world!