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Getting Started on the Enhanced Catalogue

You can choose to use the standard catalogue or our enhanced version, supplied by a software company called BiblioCommons and used by many other public  libraries throughout North America. Why a new catalogue?

  • Enhanced searching allows you to quickly see how many items are available at any branch.
  • Relevancy ranking so the titles at the top of the list are more likely to be of interest to you.
  • Optional social networking features allow customers at any library using BiblioCommons to add comments and make lists that can be viewed by all.
  • Opt in to the “Recently Returned” feature to keep track of items you’ve borrowed.
  • Real-time updating of ORL catalogue holdings.

For more, check out this YouTube video produced by BiblioCommons for an overview of how to start using the ORL enhanced catalogue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcPZ48O4ggI


Important Note on Privacy and Security:


ORL respects and protects your privacy as per the Board Policy: http://www.orl.bc.ca/about-us/privacy-statement.

The enhanced catalogue gives you a choice about contributing content (e.g., recommended lists, reviews, ratings) that you can share with others.  However your borrowing will remain private and only content that you choose to share will be made public.

When you register your account in the enhanced catalogue, BiblioCommons software only records your library card number, username, birth month and year, and email address (if provided).  You are also agreeing to the BiblioCommons Terms of Use http://orl.bibliocommons.com/info/terms and BiblioCommons Privacy Statement http://orl.bibliocommons.com/info/privacy.

You decide whether you want to share your reading or viewing choices, comments, lists, and reviews with other users of the enhanced catalogue.  Your username will appear beside anything you contribute.  We recommend that you create a username that does not identify you by your real name.

The enhanced catalogue becomes more interesting as people contribute content. However, you can choose to use the enhanced catalogue without posting anything.  If you do not want anyone else to see your comments or titles on My Shelves, you can make them private.  Go to “My ORL”, then click on “My Settings”, then “Privacy” and select what you wish to make private.  

All patron information in the enhanced catalogue is transmitted securely using standard HTTPS and SSL. This ensures all data is encrypted and the server that receives the data is securely identified. 



Registering to use the Enhanced Catalogue:


The first time you go into the enhanced catalogue and enter your library card number and PIN, you will be directed to a page to register.


1.      I already have a library card and PIN.  Why do I need to register?

Registering allows you to create an easy-to-remember username so you don’t have to type your barcode every time you check your account or place a hold. More importantly, creating a username allows you to use the interactive features of the enhanced catalogue – making lists, contributing reviews and comments, communicating with ORL and other library users beyond ORL.  Your username is what will appear on the screen to identify your comments and public lists. 


2.      What should I use as a username?

We suggest that your username should not identify you.  Any comments that you contribute will be visible to others and may be indexed in search engines such as Google.   See “Privacy and Security” for more information.

Choose something that is easy to remember.  It must be unique and not in use by another customer in any library that is using this catalogue software (BiblioCommons).  This now includes some very large public libraries, like New York Public Library, so it may take you several tries to come up with a username. The software will tell you if the username is taken.

Your username can be up to 24 characters long, and you can use any combination of letters, numbers, and underscores. It cannot be all numbers or use spaces or other non-alphanumeric characters. 

You can change your username at any time.  Go to “My ORL” and click on “Personal Information”. There you can type in a new name in the “Username” field and hit “Save”. Any content you added previously will show your new username.


3.      Do I need to provide an email address?

An email address is not required to use the catalogue; however, if you forget your PIN and cannot log in, you have the option to request an email to have it reset. If you don’t provide an email address, the only way to reset or recover a PIN is to contact an ORL branch. Through this catalogue software, your email would not be used for anything other than PIN recovery. If you choose to provide an email address, you will receive a welcome email from Bibliocommons asking you to confirm that the email address you supplied is correct.


4.      Why do you need give a birth date when I register?

A birth date is required only to identify anyone 12 years or under, as different privacy rules apply to our youngest customers. Birth month and year is entered over an encrypted Internet connection.


5.      Terms of Use

You will have to read and accept the Terms of Use: http://orl.bibliocommons.com/info/terms



Using the ORL Enhanced Catalogue:


1.      Tips for searching in the ORL Enhanced Catalogue:

  • Search results will be listed by relevancy, titles on top are more likely to be what you are looking for.
  • Author and subject searches have an “auto-suggest” feature; pause when typing in your terms to view options.
  • You can apply “facets” or limits to your search results using the boxes in left margin to narrow down your results.
  • “Did you mean?” feature makes suggestions for mistyped words.
  • Lists of bestsellers and award-winning books have links to titles in ORL.

For more, also see BiblioCommons help http://help.bibliocommons.com/010searching/

BiblioCommons Smart Search video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riSn1nxmkVc


2.      Contributing your comments to ORL Enhanced Catalogue:

Many libraries in Canada (including Vancouver, Burnaby, Edmonton, Ottawa) and in the USA (Boston, Seattle, New York City) are using the same software, BiblioCommons,  to give their customers a more interactive experience with their libraries’ catalogues.  

ORL customers will be able to see the comments from users of these other libraries, and if interested, contribute their own content. 

The enhanced catalogue allows you to:

  • review or comment on titles
  • rate titles
  • create lists of recommended items
  • keep “Shelves” of past, present or future titles you are interested in and share them with others (“My Lists” in the standard catalogue)
  • follow and receive recommendations from other users
  • ignore (block) comments from users whose comments you prefer not to view
  • send and receive messages from other users (you must be at least 13 years old to use this feature)

See also BiblioCommons help on Adding Detail: http://help.bibliocommons.com/025ug/ 


3.      “Recently Returned” feature - Your borrowing history

Many customers ask us, “How do I find a list of what I borrowed and returned?”  Due to privacy issues, this is not information we keep in our system (unless there is a fine for late return or damage or other problem).  

The enhanced catalogue allows you to choose to keep a list of items which you’ve recently borrowed and returned. This is a feature you must “opt in” for and can be enabled in your Privacy Settings under your Account Setting. This list can only be seen by you; it is not visible to other customers and this data is stored on the ORL’s server. 

How to “opt in” for this Recently Returned feature:

  • login and move your mouse over “My ORL”
  • click on “Privacy” under  My Settings
  • check the “Enable Recently Returned” box
  • click on “Save"

See also BiblioCommons help: http://help.bibliocommons.com/005borrowing/015recently-returned/


4.      Locked accounts

If you try to login to your account and fail three times in a row within a minute, the account will be locked for an hour. If you have trouble remembering your PIN and have provided an email address, you can request an email to reset it.  If you did not provide an email address and need to recover your PIN, please contact your ORL branch.





Feedback about the ORL’s Enhanced Catalogue


When logged in, there is a feedback form at the bottom of each page which directs comments to the ORL or BiblioCommons depending on the category of feedback selected.  Feel free to also give your feedback to staff at your local ORL branch.

BiblioCommons continues to actively develop their software, so your comments and suggestions are valuable to them.