Catalog Frequently Asked Questions

Searching for books, ebooks, movies, music, and more is now easier than ever. It is also easy for you to share your expertise in new ways — rate and review materials, create new lists, and browse lists from other users you follow. Also, you can save items to read later and keep track of what you’ve already read.

Q: Why do we have a new catalog? I liked the old one just fine.

A: We want to provide the best services possible to our community, and the new catalog offers a number of benefits that the old catalog did not. New features include improved search functionality, one-click holds, the ability to track your reading, and much more. You may also search for, check out, and download OverDrive titles without ever leaving the catalog! There are a number of optional social features, such as profiles (pages that tell you about other users or groups), lists, reviews, and ratings. Since there are currently over 200 libraries using BiblioCommons for their library catalogs, we now have access to lists, reviews, tags, and ratings from all those users as well.

Q: Why do I need to register?

A: Since the new catalog is a new service the library is providing, patrons need to be aware of and agree to the Terms of Use. During registration you will be prompted to select a username, which will help you log in moving forward. All ratings, reviews, and lists that you make public are tied to your username, which can be completely anonymous if you choose. However, you can still login with your library card each time, if you prefer.

Q: Why do I have to create a username? I can’t ever remember it, and I already have my barcode memorized.

A: All users must create a unique username because the new catalog has additional optional features, like commenting on books and keeping track of your reading on shelves. All comments, lists, tags, etc. generated by patrons are tied to unique usernames and are subject to the catalog’s (BiblioCommons) privacy and Terms of Use statements. Once you’ve registered, you can login with your username or your library card number. That’s up to you. Both options will always work.

Q: Why is the registration page telling me the username I want is unavailable?

A: Usernames must be unique across all BiblioCommons libraries. Since there are currently more than five million registered users of BiblioCommons catalogs, it’s possible that someone else has already taken the username you want. If you get a message that your preferred username is already in use, you will be offered the chance to try adding a number on the end or choosing something completely different.

Q: What happened to my 'my favorites' or 'my saved searches'?

A: Although saved lists from the old catalog cannot migrate to the new system, there are exciting new opportunities for you to create lists. These come in the form Shelf Lists which allow you to keep track of items that you’ve borrowed or plan to borrow in the future.

  • Completed shelf is where you can store everything you’ve read, watched or listened to.
  • In Progress is the place for what you are reading, watching or listening to right now.
  • For Later is like a wish list, a place to keep track of the books, movies and music you’d like to borrow in the future.

Q: Will the new catalog work on my mobile device?

A: YES! Bibliocommons mobile interface allows you to search the entire collection directly from your mobile device.

Q: How do I renew my books?

A: ► To renew a single item

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. On the menu, click Checked Out.
  3. Find the title you want to renew.
  4. Click the Renew button below the item.

A popup message will let you know if your renewal was successful.

► To renew multiple items

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. On the menu, click Checked Out.
  3. If necessary, filter your checkouts by clicking Overdue, Next Due or Due Later under the My Borrowing summary on the left of the page.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • Click the checkbox next to each item you want to renew
    • Click the checkbox above the items to select all of the items on the page.
  5. Click the colored Renew Selected button at the top of the page. The number of items affected appears in brackets on the button.

A popup message will let you know if your renewals were successful.

Q: Why can’t my child enter a username?

A: In the United States, children under 13 are not allowed to enter free-text on websites without parental approval (per COPPA: the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). Currently, we do not have an option to ensure parental approval. Once a child turns 13, he or she will be able to select a username and have other free-text options available.

Q: Why do you ask for my birthdate? What if I don’t wish to share that information?

A: Age information is used only to protect minors, as required by COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. In the United States, children under 13 are not allowed to enter free text on websites. If you are an adult and don’t wish to share your birthdate with BiblioCommons, simply enter a false date such as January, 1900.

Q: How do I place a hold on a book?

A: Once you have identified an item in the online catalog that you would like to hold, simply click the green “Place a Hold” button located near the item details. If you are not already logged in to your online account, you will be prompted to do so. To complete the hold process, click on the blue ‘Confirm Hold’ button.

If you have the single-click hold process enabled, you will only be prompted to click the green ‘Place a Hold’ button once.

If you are interested in enabling the single-click hold process, simply click on the box ‘Enable Single Click Holds’.

Q: How do I change my privacy settings in the catalog?

A: The new catalog has some great social features for people who want to connect with other readers.  However, not everyone wants to participate and some would rather keep their reading activities private.  The good news is that YOU have control over what gets shared with others.If you want to keep your activities private, just follow the directions below to change your privacy settings.  If you like to share, then you don’t need to do anything after you set up your account – though you can change your mind at any time.To change your privacy settings, log in to your account.In the upper right hand corner of the screen click the dropdown arrow to the right of your name, then either click the gear symbol or “My Settings” to make your changes.Then, scroll down to find the Privacy category.At this point you have two options.  You may choose to make your entire activity feed private, or limit viewing of one or more of your shelves.  In both cases, make your selection then click “Save Changes.”

These settings can be changed at any time. Click here for more details on configuring your account

Q: What's the difference between a shelf and a list in the new catalog?

A: Shelf Lists allow you to keep track of items that you’ve borrowed or plan to borrow in the future.

  • Completed shelf is where you can store everything you’ve read, watched or listened to.
  • In Progress is the place for what you are reading, watching or listening to right now.
  • For Later is like a wish list, a place to keep track of the books, movies and music you’d like to borrow in the future.

Shelves don’t have limits–you can put as many items on a shelf as you wish.  For more information, please see the Help pages about My Shelves.

A list is a collection of titles related to a specific topic or idea of your choosing. You can share it with other library members or keep it private for your own use.  Lists are limited to 100 items.  If you have more than 100 items, you’ll have to create another list.  But you can have as many lists as you need. For more information about lists please check out the pages about creating and maintaining a list found here.

 

We invite you to discover the new catalog today.