Looking up information in the Greenwich Library catalog has become even easier.
Greenwich Library is the first library in Connecticut to offer the service, which is powered by BiblioCommons, a Canada-based software developer. Greenwich follows several libraries across the country that already are using the BiblioCommons catalog — the New York Public Library, Seattle Public Library and Princeton Public Library. The new catalog system is one of several initiatives of “Connecting our Community,” the library’s 2012-2017 Strategic Plan.
The initial planning and implementation of the new catalog was funded by the Library Board of Trustees., which began two years ago. The program cost $50,000 and will cost $20,000 a year to maintain, according to library spokesman Kate Petrov.
“Throughout our Strategic Planning process, our patrons urged us to focus on enhanced collections, greater access to technology, and promotion of literacy," library trustees President Nancy Better said in a statement. "BiblioCommons meets all these needs, plus it brings the joy of browsing and discovering new materials to the Library’s online experience.”
Some of the new catalog features include:
- Search: Patrons can move beyond simply requesting books they’re already familiar with; the new catalog will encourage online browsing. Spell an author’s name wrong? Instead of sending patrons to a dead end, the new catalog will ask “Did you mean…?” and auto-suggest the correct spelling.
- Find: Patrons can narrow a search with options for publication date, age level, genre, language, patron rating and other facets for quick and precise results that can include just titles now available on the shelf.
- Borrow: Patrons can easily manage their library accounts; with a couple of keystrokes they can place and suspend holds and renew items.
- Explore: Patrons can find lists of recommended reading created by library staff on a variety of subjects and also discover what members of community are reading and rating. Patrons can also access lists and reviews from other libraries using the BiblioCommons catalog.
- Do more: Patrons can keep track of what they’ve read or want to read later with digital “bookshelves” that they can create. They can write reviews, create their own lists, rate books, add their own cataloging tags or follow other users with similar reading or listening tastes.
The new catalog also is available in a new mobile browser and a library app, available for Apple and Android devices. To download, search “Greenwich Library” in the App Store or the Google Play Store.
“For help finding your next great read, the Staff Picks page is a must see. From the Explore tab, click Staff Picks to find really creative lists of recommended books, films or music for children and adults in a variety of topics,” said Library Director Barbara Ormerod-Glynn. “You can even follow recommendations from your favorite staff members including ‘GreenwichMusic,’ ‘GreenwichChildren’ or ‘CosCobLibrary,’ among others.”
The library staff have been trained on the new catalog system and can assist patrons who need help navigating it. The former catalog will remain available for patrons who choose not to immediately begin using the new catalog.