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: I see the Classic Catalog is still available. When will the switch to the new catalog take place?

A: We will have the Classic Catalog available until Monday, May 7. On Tuesday, May 8, the new catalog will “go live”.

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: Saved lists from the current catalog will not migrate to the new system.  However, you can print those lists. We recommend that you capture lists by April 28, and we are happy to assist you.

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.

We invite you to discover the new catalog today.