Toronto, ON—For years the library community has been dreaming of a "FRBRized" catalog. After many iterations and a year of live beta testing, BiblioCommons has realized this dream by launching Grouped Search for libraries using the BiblioCore catalog across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
In 1998 IFLA first released its Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) following eight years of consultation and modeling. Add another two decades thinking about authority data (FRAD) and subjects (FRSAD), IFLA's work culminated in 2017 with the consolidation of the three conceptual models into the single Library Reference Model (LRM).
However, it's been over a hundred years since librarians first started envisioning a catalog that grouped the various formats of a work together, rather than scattering the various formats individually in the catalog. In fact, it was 1858 when Anthony Panizzi, the Principal Librarian of the British Museum, expressed the initial idea: "A reader may know the work he requires; but he cannot be expected to know all the peculiarities of the editions of that work. This information he has a right to expect from his catalogues."
Representing the first phase of "FRBRization," Grouped Search is live across all BiblioCore instances, but is a search results display option rather than the default. At the Public Library Association (PLA) conference in Philadelphia this week, the BiblioCommons team will be demonstrating the next phase including a version of a work-level bibliographic display and enhancements to the grouped search view.
To date, the response from patrons experiencing the new Grouped Search display has been overwhelmingly positive. As one patron from Edmonton Public Library expressed, "I love (LOVE!) that I can see all the formats for each title at the same time. As someone who is comfortable with different formats, I love that I can see all of them and their availability so that I can more easily pick my preferred format or the format that will be available the soonest. Well done!"
Library staff and others interested in learning more are encouraged to visit the BiblioCommons booth #1119 at PLA or visit http://www.loveyouronlinelibrary.com/frbr.
BiblioCommons builds software that transforms the public library's essential online services—the website, the catalog, the events calendar—from functional to magical. BiblioCommons first started as a non-profit youth literacy initiative, and now powers patron catalogs and integrated online library experiences for many of the top public libraries of all sizes in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Love your online library.