June 24, 2014 -- BiblioCommons and Zola Books have partnered to make Zola's Bookish Recommends contextual recommendation algorithm available to 67 libraries across the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand through the BiblioCommons online library catalog service.
Bookish Recommends shows library patrons high quality book recommendations related to a book on any library website powered by BiblioCommons. If there's a wait time for a popular book, Bookish Recommends can help patrons find other good reads in the meantime. Or, if patrons love a particular book, they can pick from a list of books with similar characteristics, including not only current bestsellers but also lesser-known, high-quality books they might not otherwise hear about.
The Bookish Recommends algorithm works by using the unique identifier of a book on a catalog page to search 500,000 unique books with over 1.7 billion relationships in a graph database. The recommendations are weighted based on a number of factors, including unique micro book genres and availability in the library's catalog.
On March 24, the New York Public Library was the first library to roll out the Bookish Recommends feature on its catalog pages powered by the BiblioCommons platform. Now all libraries using the BiblioCommons platform – including library systems from Austin to Boston to Seattle – can simply turn on the Bookish Recommends application programming interface (API) to offer contextual recommendations to patrons.
"We partnered with Zola because libraries have an overwhelming interest in providing good book recommendations. The Bookish Recommends engine offers an excellent range of titles and an API [application programming interface] that made integration easy," said Patrick Kennedy, president of BiblioCommons. "As of today, all our library clients can tell us to turn on the Bookish Recommends feature and start using it on their catalog pages alongside the other catalog enhancement products we have integrated."
"Through Bookish Recommends, we are deeply committed to making great book recommendations available to readers everywhere across the web. By partnering with BiblioCommons, we are pleased to be able to offer those recommendations to patrons of many major library systems across the United States and beyond," said Joe Regal, CEO of Zola Books.
The Bookish Recommends API lets BiblioCommons libraries integrate Bookish Recommends seamlessly into their existing online catalog. US library systems using the BiblioCommons catalog include Austin Public Library, Bellingham Public Library, Boston Public Library, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Clevnet, Chicago Public Library, Daniel Boone Regional Library, Greenwich Library, Johnson County Library, King County Library System, Lawrence Public Library, Multnomah County Library, New York Public Library, Oceanside Public Library, Olathe Public Library, Omaha Public Library, Peninsula Library System, Portland Public Library, Princeton Public Library, Pueblo City-County Library District, Santa Clara County Library, Santa Monica Public Library, Seattle Public Library, Tulsa City County Library, Whatcom County Library System. BiblioCommons serves an additional 41 libraries in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
BiblioCommons first started as a non-profit youth literacy initiative and now provides online solutions to public libraries worldwide. The BiblioCore catalog service replaces all search and account management functionality of the traditional web catalog, 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. In addition to a full suite of complementary services, BiblioCommons recently released BiblioCMS, a complete solution for content and website management. Details on all services are at: www.bibliocommons.com/products
About Zola Books
Zola Books' mission is to enable the ultimate reading experience through innovative technology. Zola's state-of-the-art book recommendation engine Bookish Recommends is a new way to find great reads you might otherwise miss on Bookish.com and partner sites such at The New York Public Library. Zola's social reading app is a unique way to read with friends. Zola also shares profits with booksellers who recommend books online and off. In January 2014, Zola Books acquired Bookish, a book recommendation platform founded by Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster. For more information, please visit http://www.zolabooks.com and follow @zolabooks.