Charlotte Mecklenburg Library launches enhanced catalog and social discovery platform

In February, 2016, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library will launch a new catalog experience powered by BiblioCommons, the integrated public library catalog that promotes social discovery and connects large urban and suburban libraries worldwide.

By adopting the new catalog and additional enhancements powered by BiblioCommons, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library will join Chicago Public, Brooklyn Public, New York Public, Seattle Public, Boston Public, San Francisco Public Library, King County Library System, Multnomah County Library, and many other large urban and suburban library systems utilizing the BiblioCommons software-as-a-service catalog. 

The catalog enhancement supports two of the Library's strategic initiatives – to increase community awareness and engagement, and to innovate to support 21st century access.

"In customer satisfaction surveys, we've heard that people want a better online experience from their library," said Director of Libraries David Singleton. "The redevelopment of our web site last fall, followed by the launch of the enhanced catalog experience now, brings a significantly better online experience to everyone who uses Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

"The new catalog also offers features that will encourage community engagement around the collection and promote the expertise of librarians as readers advisory and reference specialists. Just like in our physical library spaces, we now have an online experience that allows the sharing of recommendations, reviews and conversation about reading."

Enhancements offered by the new catalog experience allow customers to:

  • Create personalized usernames that are easier to remember than a library card number
  • Set a preferred location to place holds with just one click
  • Organize reading with "shelves" (Completed, In Progress, For Later)
  • See all borrowing in one place (including e-books)
  • Rate, Comment, Tag, or Add Details to items in the catalog
  • Connect with a community of readers through social discovery features.

Michael Engelbrecht, library automation systems analyst and project lead for the catalog upgrade, notes some additional, long-term advantages of the new catalog platform. “It's important that our systems work together, and BiblioCommons offers increased digital integration with Overdrive, one of our biggest providers of e-books and e-audiobooks. This means a much more seamless experience for our customers when they borrow materials from our online collection. Better integration is being demanded of systems that provide solutions to libraries, and it’s a win for everyone when it happens.”

Users of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library can explore the catalog beginning January 25, through a link on the Library’s web site www.cmlibrary.org . The new catalog will replace the existing catalog on February 1, 2016.

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Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is one of America’s leading urban public libraries, serving a community of over one million residents in Mecklenburg County, NC. Accessible and welcoming to all, the Library celebrates the joy of reading, fosters learning and growth, connects people to each other and the world, and inspires individuals with what they can achieve.

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Quick facts

Users of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library can explore the catalog beginning January 25, 2016, through a link on the Library’s web site www.cmlibrary.org.
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The new catalog will replace the existing catalog on February 1, 2016.
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The new catalog will allow customers to create personalized usernames that are easier to remember than a library card number.
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Quotes

The new catalog offers features that will encourage community engagement around the collection and promote the expertise of librarians as readers advisory and reference specialists.
David Singleton, Director of Libraries for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Just like in our physical library spaces, we now have an online experience that allows the sharing of recommendations, reviews and conversation about reading.
David Singleton, Director of Libraries for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Better integration is being demanded of systems that provide solutions to libraries, and it’s a win for everyone when it happens.
Michael Engelbrecht, Library Automation Systems Analyst for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library