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BiblioCommons

This dashboard brings together data, trends, news, and other resources from Library Technology Guides describing the organization, its executive leadership, personnel employed, business history, as well as related features and news articles.

Connect to the BiblioCommons website

119 Spadina Avenue Suite 1000
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2L1
Canada
Phone: 647-436-6381
Web site: http://www.bibliocommons.com/
Email: info@bibliocommons.com

Executive Leadership

photo of Sebastien  Lopes
Sebastien Lopes
General Manager
photo of Marty Tarle
Marty Tarle
Chief Technology Officer
photo of Erica  Reynolds
Erica Reynolds
Vice President, Library Engagement
photo of Natasha  Hesch
Natasha Hesch
Director of Product

Company Ownership

BiblioCommons is a portfolio company of the Volaris Group, one of the operating divisions of Constellation Software.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions for BiblioCommons

Documents or articles featuring BiblioCommons

Breeding, Marshall. Consolidation Takes a New Form: BiblioCommons Acquired by Constellation Software. March 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. BiblioCommons, a Toronto-based company providing a suite of applications and interfaces for public libraries, has been acquired by Volaris Group, one of six operating companies of Constellation Software, Inc. BiblioCommons has become established as a major force in the public library sector, and its products have been implemented by an impressive list of libraries and consortia in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This transaction marks a departure from its status as a founder-owned company. Though BiblioCommons will continue to operate independently, it now falls under the ownership of a large multinational technology firm managing a diverse portfolio of technology and software companies. But unlike general private equity firms, Constellation has never sold the companies it acquires.

Breeding, Marshall. New General Manager for BiblioCommons. January 2021. Smart Libraries Newsletter. BiblioCommons has named a new general manager, its top executive position. When Volaris Group purchased the company in February 2020, Matt Goddard was appointed as its general manager to lead the company through its initial phase of business integration. As of December 1, 2020, Sebastien Lopes has assumed the role of general manager, following a three-month recruitment process. This transition in leadership was expected and does not necessarily portend any major changes in product or business strategies.

Breeding, Marshall. BiblioCommons Launches BiblioOmni. August 2018. Smart Libraries Newsletter. BiblioCommons continues to expand its portfolio of products and services for public libraries. The company has recently developed a new marketing platform to enable libraries to create and distribute content to promote its collections, services, and events. This new product aims to help libraries increase awareness of their services by the communities they serve using some of the techniques that have been well established in the marketing and communications activities in other commercial and non-profit sectors.

Breeding, Marshall. BiblioCommons Launches E-Book Lending Integration. May 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. BiblioCommons announced in January 2012 a major initiative to integrate e-book lending into its socially-oriented library discovery platform.

Breeding, Marshall. New York Public Library Partners with BiblioCommons. September 2011. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The New York Public Library plans to make a major change in the way it offers access to its collections to patrons. This fall, NYPL will implement BiblioCommons, shifting from its current Encore-based catalog.

New York Public Library. New York Public Library and Bibliocommons partner to create a new innovative, interactive online experience. June 20, 2011. . The New York Public Library has partnered with Toronto-based software company Bibliocommons to completely transform its current online catalog, making it easier to discover the Library’s vast collections while also giving users the power to create reading lists, rate the latest books, and organize groups.

Vermond, Kira. Toronto startup drags NY libraries into the future. Tuesday, Jun. 07, 2011. The Globe and Mail. BiblioCommons, an 18-employee company from Toronto, is trying to bodycheck the library industry into the information age in such places as New York, Chicago and Ottawa. Taking the lead from social media, BiblioCommons, which launched in 2006 with funding from Knowledge Ontario, private investors and subscriptions, brings book readers, movie watchers and music listeners together.

Breeding, Marshall. BiblioCommons Prepares for next phase of Roll-out. August 2009. Smart Libraries Newsletter. After a long period of development, testing and some delays, BiblioCommons appears poised to move forward as a contender in the arena of discovery interfaces. Developed by a Toronto-based company of the same name, BiblioCommons offers a new approach to the discovery interface that fully embraces social networking as a fundamental component in the way that patrons find and select resources from library collections.

View all featured content about BiblioCommons

News Announcements

February 25, 2021. BiblioCommons launches BiblioEmail: integrated, accessible, automated email marketing designed for public libraries. BiblioEmail is now available to all public libraries for pre-order as part of the BiblioCommons suite of services. BiblioEmail is specifically designed for public libraries looking to personalize their email marketing efforts. The new product's most notable feature is the ability to repurpose content that has already been created in BiblioWeb — making the email creation process much more streamlined and staff-friendly.


December 30, 2020. BiblioCommons welcomes new library partners during the Fourth Quarter of 2020. BiblioCommons announced that new libraries have come onboard as partners during the fourth quarter of 2020. The new partner libraries include Lakeland Library Cooperative, Hayward Public Library, OWLSnet Library Consortium, Margate City Public Library, Delaware County District Library, and Oakland Public Library.


December 11, 2020. BiblioCon ’21 is online and open to all public library staff. BiblioCommons announced the launch of registration for BiblioCon ‘21, BiblioCommons' bi-ennial public library conference. This year's all virtual event will bring together public libraries and BiblioCommons team members for interactive sessions, networking events, and more.


December 1, 2020. Appointment of a new General Manager for BiblioCommons. BiblioCommons is pleased to announce that Sebastien Lopes has been appointed General Manager of BiblioCommons as of December 1, 2020. Sebastien Lopes will be replacing Matt Goddard, who will be transitioning to a sister company under the Volaris Group of companies.


November 26, 2020. BiblioCommons releases new enhanced discovery and online browsing. With public library buildings across North America closed or restricting access, connecting patrons with the library's collections online has never been more critical. BiblioCommons has released new functionality in the BiblioCore catalog that creates an enhanced online browsing experience facilitating endless routes for patrons to discover what to read, watch or listen to next — even when they can't physically browse the shelves at the library.


September 23, 2020. BiblioCommons launches new BiblioApps to deepen patron engagement. BiblioCommons announced the launch of the all-new BiblioApps for Android. Unlike other apps for public libraries, BiblioApps is designed in the context of the full patron experience. BiblioApps broadens and deepens patron engagement with the public library by providing an exceptional, personalized, modern mobile experience that is now available for both iOS and Android platforms.


May 8, 2020. BiblioCommons launches new features to support libraries in an online-only environment. The BiblioCommons Team is proud to announce a number of new feature improvements across the BiblioCommons platform to support libraries in serving their communities in an all, or mostly, online environment.


February 10, 2020. BiblioCommons acquired by Volaris Group. On February 10th, 2020 Volaris Group finalized the acquisition of BiblioCommons. Volaris is a Canadian software success story that is focused on acquiring, strengthening and growing vertical market software companies. Volaris is a worldwide software organization which operates as a division of Constellation Software, one of Canada’s largest technology success stories. BiblioCommons will operate independently while advancing via the guidance and expertise of the Volaris network. Two of the founders, Beth Jefferson and Patrick Kennedy have decided to transition from BiblioCommons but will continue as advocates.


June 21, 2019. Research shows higher overall library usage in public libraries that use BiblioCommons. In order to determine the impact of subscribing to its public library software, BiblioCommons recently retained an independent consultant to complete an in-depth statistical analysis of the impact of BiblioCommons online services on North American public libraries. What they discovered is that subscribing to BiblioCommons correlates with an increase in circulation per capita anywhere from 25% to 57%, and results in 9% more visits per capita on average, compared to public libraries that do not subscribe to BiblioCommons services. This is true when accounting for other potential influences, including population size and density, operating budgets, collection size, and historical circulation trends.


June 21, 2019. BiblioCommons announces new automated marketing product plus newly built BiblioWeb and BiblioApps. BiblioCommons shared new versions of BiblioWeb and BiblioApps, as well as introduce BiblioEmail, an exciting new email marketing service developed specifically for public libraries. BiblioWeb 3.0 offers all the valuable functionality that libraries have come to expect from BiblioWeb, but with more power, greater flexibility, and even better ease of use. A brand new page builder with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows library staff to design their own pages from scratch, or to simply insert their content into ready-made templates. Revamped taxonomies structuring the website content allow for even easier featuring and cross-promotion of blog posts, events, recommendation lists, and more. BiblioApps has also been completely rebuilt to reflect public libraries’ need to create more personalized, engaging library experiences.


View All BiblioCommons News Announcements

Corporate Chronology

Annual Accomplishments Statements

[Data source: text supplied for the annual Library Systems Report]

2020 BiblioCommons Accomplishments Narrative

2020 Year in Review

Although 2020 was considered one of the more challenging years in recent memory, the BiblioCommons Team pulled together to support libraries during the global pandemic when the online library became the only library experience for many communities.

Additionally, the team focused on exciting new developments across the BiblioCommons suite, all designed to deepen patron engagement through personalization and expand awareness of all a library offers to its community.

In February 2020, BiblioCommons was acquired by Volaris Group. While Co-Founders Beth Jefferson and Patrick Kennedy stepped away, Co-Founder Marty Tarle remained on the team, along with many long-time BiblioCommons leaders. The acquisition process did not slow product development. The team immediately responded to the global pandemic by making rapid enhancements to BiblioCore, BiblioEvents, and BiblioWeb to give libraries the flexibility they needed to promote their online collections, online events, and online resources more effectively as libraries pivoted to online or curbside service models.

2020 also saw the BiblioCommons community of libraries continue to grow with new implementations starting with San Diego County Library (CA), Barrie Public Library (ON, Canada), Clark County Public Library (OH), Kent District Library (MI), Livermore Public Library (CA), Laurel County Public Library (KY), Boca Raton Public Library (FL), Delaware County District Library (OH), and Hayward Public Library (CA), Margate Public Library (NJ), and Oakland Public Library (CA). Several new consortia also joined the BiblioCommons community, including One Library Card Alliance (NS, Canada), OWLSnet (WI), and Lakeland Library Cooperative (MI).

Cincinnati Public Library (OH), Fulton County Library System (GE), Kent District Library (MI), Ramsey County Library (MN), and Frisco Public Library (TX) all launched the complete BiblioCommons platform (BiblioWeb + BiblioEvents + BiblioCore) in 2020. Santa Clara County Library District (CA), Sno-Isle Library (WA), Pickering Public Library (ON, Canada), Markham Public Library (ON, Canada), and Alameda County Public Library (CA) all went live with new websites powered by BiblioWeb to integrate with their existing BiblioCore online experience.

In terms of product-specific enhancements, the BiblioCommons team made significant progress across the product suite to increase and deepen patron engagement.

BiblioCore: The big project for the BiblioCore team has been the newly rebuilt title record page or “BibPage,” which has been a multi-year project. While a great deal of the front-facing enhancements are obvious such as a sleeker, more elegant design, visually appealing pages, content that helps patrons discover new titles, and better promotion of staff recommendation lists, there are significant enhancements to the backend as well with a new bibliographic metadata service that will support faster load times and improved metadata handling. Most libraries across BiblioCommons have the new BibPage available in preview to gather feedback from patrons and staff. At the same time, Arapahoe Libraries in Colorado went live in production with the new BibPage in the fall of 2020. The new, more visually appealing BibPage will be live with all BiblioCore libraries in 2021. The BiblioCore team also took a break from building the new BibPage to implement specific enhancements designed to better support libraries as they pivoted to new service models during the pandemic. These included:


• BiblioCore can now pre-apply the ‘Access online’ filter to all user searches. This filter gives users immediate visibility of titles they’re able to borrow online without needing to scroll through physical items if those items are not available to be placed on hold or checked out. This toggle can be controlled by the library staff as buildings open and close down, depending on the community situation.


• Staff now have the ability to hide navigation items in a site header without deleting them (Such as services that aren’t available during the pandemic but will return when the libraries return to full service.)


• For libraries with BiblioSuggest, staff will be able to prevent users from making suggestions without turning off the BiblioSuggest module so that records are kept intact, and libraries can pivot back to encouraging suggestions quickly.

BiblioEvents: Kent District Library sponsored the development of new BiblioEvents templates to make creating and managing library events across a library system more streamlined and efficient, and provide the library with more control over its branding and voice. With this development sponsored by Kent District Library, all BiblioEvents libraries now have access to the new master templates — another advantage of the multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Additionally, BiblioEvents quickly added new features in the spring to support libraries as they pivoted from in-person events to online events. These included:


• Supporting the ability for staff to indicate that an event’s "location" is virtual rather than requiring an address.


• Ability for staff to pre-set a filter to promote and search virtual events without the display being cluttered by currently cancelled in-person events. Patrons can still easily find and search the complete calendar of events by removing the filter.

BiblioWeb: One of the big improvements to BiblioWeb might seem like a small enhancement, but it’s a larger step toward a truly integrated, streamlined online experience for public libraries: the hold button. Previously only available from within the catalog, by adding a hold button functionality in BiblioWeb, patrons can browse blog posts and news posts, and quickly add a hold to any featured titles without needing to leave the library’s website to click through to the catalog — potentially interrupting the path of discovery.

The BiblioWeb hold button feature allows the library to add catalog titles and lists directly to blog posts, news posts, and pages using the ’Add Title’ and ’Add List’ widgets. Since they integrate directly with the catalog, these widgets require no additional formatting, making it easier to promote the library’s collections to patrons.

With the new hold button feature in BiblioWeb, patrons are now able to:


• View the title, cover image, and author information from a blog post, news post, or other web page.


• View the title’s availability, place a hold, and add it to their shelves.


• Still have access to the full catalog (by clicking the title or cover image, the user is taken to the bib page and by clicking the author’s name, a search for other work by the author is launched.

BiblioWeb also made improvements around flexibility and control of content, cards, and taxonomies. Based on suggestions from the BiblioCommons community via the Partner Portal, enhancements were added to how widgets featuring the library’s events via BiblioEvents can be controlled and formatted.

In addition to a suite of templates in three different themes to help libraries quickly and easily build beautiful, content-rich websites, BiblioWeb also supports the ability for libraries to completely design their own layouts. Many libraries took advantage of the flexibility of BiblioWeb during the pandemic by changing out their entire homepage to focus exclusively on online services and content and community notices regarding COVID-19. In direct support of libraries needing to feature their online resources as library buildings closed to the public, a new Online Resources template was added to the Template Library. This new template enables libraries to use the page builder to more easily and effectively promote the library’s online resources.

Looking to the future, BiblioCommons is working on leveraging the modular content of BiblioWeb to provide patrons with an integrated, personalized experience across the BiblioCommons suite of products. The team is currently piloting personalized promotions in the BiblioCore catalog with Chicago Public Library by dynamically featuring visually-rich promotions of the library’s online resources, events, services, and other offerings within the patron’s search path via the catalog. The results and next steps for this pilot project will be presented at the BiblioCon users conference in February of 2021.

BiblioEmail: An entirely new product, BiblioEmail, was built in 2020 to support automated marketing tailored to the location, audience, and interests of library patrons and drip campaigns to greatly enhance the marketing capabilities of the library. With content and formatting repurposed from BiblioWeb to make automated email marketing as efficient as possible, BiblioEmail saves staff time while delivering visually appealing, content-rich, personalized email campaigns promoting the library’s collections, events, and services. It was developed with Chicago Public Library and Arapahoe Libraries who both provided feedback and testing. The first automated BiblioEmail was sent out by Chicago Public Library in December of 2020 and the first email from Arapahoe Libraries was sent in January of 2021. The team looks forward to fully launching BiblioEmail in 2021.

BiblioApps: In 2019, the new iOS version of BiblioApps was released, and in 2020, the Android version was released, completing the BiblioApps suite. The new BiblioApps are live at a number of libraries, and all libraries subscribing to BiblioApps will be migrated to the new v2 of BiblioApps in 2021. BiblioApps has been completely rebuilt from the ground up as a next-generation library mobile app. In the early days of library mobile apps, the focus was on searching the library’s collections and interacting with the library via a mobile device. However, with responsive websites and catalogs, a library’s app needs to do more than provide access to the catalog, as modern apps need to create personalized experiences and deepen patron engagement with the library. BiblioApps features endless channels for patrons to discover the library’s collections, locations, and events. With an in-house development team, BiblioApps will continue to evolve and develop in a manner similar to other BiblioCommons products.

Beyond BiblioCommons products, the team also worked to compensate for canceled in-person conferences and reduced networking and learning opportunities for public library staff. BiblioCommons launched a new e-newsletter focused on the online public library experience and facilitated a series of webinars — all open to all public library staff. Launched in May 2020, the Love Your Online Library newsletter attracted 652 active subscribers in the first four months. Additionally, BiblioCommons facilitated many webinars to help libraries consider new service models and address the challenges of serving patrons during a pandemic. Webinars included panelists from across the BiblioCommons community and addressed curbside service, summer reading, serving K-12 students, supporting job-seekers and entrepreneurs, planning and promoting online events, readers’ advisory and online book groups, and best practices for bloggers and listmakers. Average webinar registrations increased from 71 in 2019 to 188 in 2020. “Planning and Promoting Your Library’s Online Events” attracted 447 registrations.

Additionally, BiblioCommons announced that the 2021 BiblioCon users conference would be all online, and registration would be complimentary to all public library staff. While there is no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year, it was also a year of opportunity and advancement. The team at BiblioCommons is grateful to work with so many innovative public libraries as they continue to evolve and support their communities via new service models and enhanced online offerings.

[View Narrative for 2019] [View Narrative for 2018] [View Narrative for 2017] [View Narrative for 2016] [View Narrative for 2015] [View Narrative for 2014] [View Narrative for 2013] [View Narrative for 2012] [View Narrative for 2011]