The Chicago Public Library Foundation and BiblioCommons announced a three-year partnership to accelerate innovation in the Chicago Public Library's online experience. The partnership will expand on the BiblioCore catalog which is currently live at New York Public Library, Boston Public Library, Seattle Public Library, and many other large libraries but will also include a re-developed website and will feature integrated cross-marketing of collections, events, and services and enhanced community engagement throughout the integrated Chicago Public Library catalog and website.
According to Library Commissioner Brian Bannon, "Chicago Public Library has been at the forefront of library technology and best practices in library experiences. For our Library to continue to be successful into the 21st century will require the best web solution and staying nimble to keep pace with user expectations and emerging capabilities. The Library is grateful to the Chicago Public Library Foundation and its generous donors for bringing these innovations to all Chicagoans."
Examples of the integrated experience will include enhanced online community engagement around the One Book, One Chicago initiative, the opportunity for teens to share content developed in the YouMedia Lab, and deep integration and online engagement around other popular public programs, library services, and library collections.
The BiblioCommons multi-tenant software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution reduces the need for costly technological infrastructure and in-house staff technical expertise, and allows public libraries to focus on curating their collections and connecting with the community rather than developing and maintaining software and technical infrastructure. With an investment from the Chicago Public Library Foundation, Chicago Public Library staff and BiblioCommons will improve on current services and develop new products that can then be shared with other public libraries to ensure scalability, ongoing innovation, and sustainability into the future.
According to Beth Jefferson, Co-Founder of BiblioCommons, "Our partnership with the Chicago Public Library Foundation will be the first of its kind to fully integrate all aspects of the patron's online library interactions and ensure that the Chicago Public Library continues to thrive as a community hub and center of learning and exploration for the community of Chicago—both in person and online. We couldn't be more excited to work with such an innovative library."
Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented the Chicago Public Library Foundation as pro bono legal counsel in connection with this transaction. The new Chicago Public Library website and integrated catalog are scheduled to launch in 2013.
BiblioCommons provides hosted online solutions exclusive to public libraries. BiblioCore replaces all search and account management functionality of the library's traditional Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). BiblioCore works on top of existing Integrated Library Systems (ILSs), integrates seamlessly with the library's branding and website navigation, and delivers a robust social discovery experience. Other BiblioCommons solutions include a mobile suite, CMS, and integrated microsites for Summer Reading and Adult Reading programs. Public libraries large and small, across the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have joined BiblioCommons, to broad acclaim by staff and patrons alike.