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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: 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. 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. 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. 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.

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News Announcements

July 15, 2022. BiblioCon '22 registration is open to all public libraries. BiblioCon, the Online Public Library Conference hosted by BiblioCommons is back this year with incredible new speakers and insightful sessions that cover various topics about the digital library experience. Like last year, this year's event will be held virtually to enable audiences from far and wide to attend. Registration is complimentary to ensure that BiblioCon is welcoming and accessible to anyone working at a public library. Conference attendees can join public library staff, industry leaders, and BiblioTeam experts on August 24 and 25.


May 31, 2022. New library partners subscribe to BiblioCommons in 2022. Two partnerships were formed between public libraries and BiblioCommons in the first few months of 2022. Glenview Public Library and Harris County Public Library are now members of the BiblioCommons shared digital platform. The BiblioTeam is thrilled to work with these two incredible libraries to help them unlock the full potential of the web to welcome, inspire, and connect their communities.


February 4, 2022. 2021 Year in Review. As we look back at the past year, we recognize more than ever before how incredible public libraries are and how critical they are in bringing communities together. Unlike 2020, 2021 was the first full year where all nations around the globe faced COVID-19 challenges every single day of the year. While the new “normal” was different for everyone, we've seen unprecedented levels of communication, collaboration, and resourcefulness at a large scale across nations and in smaller circles across communities and neighborhoods. With strength and resilience, public libraries demonstrated their agility in serving their patrons and communities.


July 7, 2021. BiblioCommons welcomes new library partners in the second quarter of 2021. BiblioCommons formed new partnerships with public libraries across the United States and Canada in the second quarter of the year. The BiblioCommons team is excited at the opportunity to work with new consortia and public libraries of all sizes in urban, suburban, and rural areas across North America.


April 13, 2021. Nine new library partnerships formed in the first quarter of 2021. In the first three months of 2021, BiblioCommons formed new partnerships with public libraries across the United States. Newly subscribed libraries include Canton Public Library, Chandler Public Library, East Chicago Public Library, Elk Grove Village Public Library, Glendale Library, Arts & Culture, Herrick District Library, Kenton County Public Library, Strathcona County Library Board, and Tulsa City-County Library. These libraries are all on different ILSs (Integrated Library Systems.) Each will work closely with the BiblioCommons team to integrate their systems to the BiblioCommons product suite and elevate their online patron experiences.


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.


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Corporate Chronology

Feb 10, 2020 BiblioCommons acquired by Volaris Group
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.

Sep 2011 New York Public Library partners with BiblioCommons
NYPL chose to invest in a company that brings technologies to the table beyond what they would be able to create internally. By subscribing to BiblioCommons and making investments in the company, NYPL will be able to accelerate its development roadmap.

2007 BiblioCommons founded by Beth Jefferson and Patrick Kennedy

Annual Accomplishments Statements

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

2022 BiblioCommons Accomplishments Narrative

2022 saw the BiblioCommons Community grow significantly with new partner libraries contracting to implement BiblioCommons services. Libraries subscribing to BiblioWeb and the complete BiblioCommons product suite include Harris County Public Library (TX), Palm Beach County Library System (FL), Timberland Regional Library (WA), Glenview Public Library (IL), Dayton Metro Library (OH), and Kitsap Regional Library (WA). Additionally, eiNetwork (PA) started implementing the BiblioCore discovery layer, along with North Vancouver City Library (BC), Newmarket Public Library (ON), and Idea Exchange (ON).

2022 also marked the expansion of BiblioWeb to new and existing library partners. Libraries launching new BiblioWeb-powered websites included: Yuma County Library District (AZ), Westerville Public Library (OH), Kenosha Public Library (WI), Chandler Public Library (AZ), Oshawa Public Library (ON), Aurora Public Library (ON), Strathcona County Library (AB), Public Library of Youngstown Mahoning County (OH), and Grand Rapids Public Library (MI).

Libraries that subscribed to and/or implemented BiblioEmail in 2022 include Chandler Public Library (AZ), Edmonton Public Library (AB), Fulton County Library System (GE), Halifax Public Libraries (NS), King County Library System (WA), and Tacoma Public Library (WA), Pima County Public Library (AZ), Yuma County Library District (AZ), Alameda County Library (CA), Red Deer Public Library (AL), Westerville Public Library (OH).

New Product Initiative to Identify, Measure, and Improve Patron Engagement

In 2022, BiblioCommons embarked on an ambitious initiative to develop a robust, shared North Star metric and data product to help libraries identify, measure, and improve their overall patron engagement. This new product will improve the ability of libraries and BiblioCommons to test and learn, share best practices, and drive long-term patron engagement and other strategic outcomes. The BiblioCommons approach is informed by existing work in the library measurement field as well as best practices from technology, hospitality, and retail sectors. BiblioCommons is honored to work with leading libraries as founding partners in this important initiative including King County Library System (WA), Columbus Metropolitan Library (OH), San Francisco Public Library (CA), and Pima County Public Library (AZ).

Analytics and Reporting with GA4

Patron engagement is the foundation of everything public libraries do, but measuring online engagement can be challenging and time-consuming for library staff. In 2022, BiblioCommons invested further in developing and applying an analytics foundation across products so that libraries are supported and don’t have to devote their valuable time to creating foundational analytics and reporting scenarios. Libraries will be better able to measure and increase engagement with the help of analytics infrastructure, coverage, and reporting using Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This work will ensure that libraries have clean data and reporting before Universal Analytics is sunset by Google in mid-2023.

Now live for more than 80 libraries (and growing every day), the BiblioCommons custom implementation of GA4 provides both the basics offered by Google and robust, library-specific custom tracking without the use of any personally identifiable information. The result will be richer insights for libraries and a foundation for deeper analysis and experimentation.

Accessibility, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

BiblioCommons continues to prioritize accessibility and DEI to create an online community that reflects, welcomes, and celebrates the diverse communities that libraries serve. In addition to several improvements across the BiblioCommons product suite to improve ease of use and patron accessibility, BiblioCommons partnered with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) in Canada to review BiblioCommons services and received an excellent report of the BiblioCommons suite of services. The report is a testament to BiblioCommons’ culture and its thorough product research and development. The commitment that BiblioCommons places on accessibility continues to be a clear differentiator when compared to other vendors that provide similar solutions and services to public libraries.

In addition to ongoing accessibility enhancements, the BiblioTeam shared expertise through documentation, webinars, conference sessions, and a series of ten blog articles focused on online accessibility to support public library staff.

As libraries prioritized DEI, many expanded the translation options for their online services, and took advantage of the BiblioCommons language options for BiblioCore and BiblioApps. In 2022, the BiblioTeam added Korean to the list of available languages so that even more patrons can enjoy an online catalog experience in their native language. To further support libraries’ DEI efforts, all languages available in BiblioCore are also available in BiblioApps at no additional cost.

Improved Support Across Devices

While all BiblioCommons services are fully mobile-responsive, many users who use iPads prefer and enjoy the benefits of using BiblioApps rather than visiting the catalog via a browser.. To that end, BiblioApps for iOS now has specific iPad functionality. Instead of seeing the app in iPhone compatibility mode, the app will adapt to the user’s device, taking advantage of the iPad’s larger display size.

Patron-centered improvements across the BiblioCommons product suite

Convenient RFID Self-Checkout for Patrons

In addition to barcode self-checkout, the BiblioApps team launched RFID-enabled self-checkout for libraries that use RFID security gates. With enhancements to cell phone technology, RFID tags can now be scanned via a patron’s personal cell phone rather than needing to use bulky RFID machines. San Antonio Public Library was the first beta Partner Library to use RFID self-checkout. BiblioCommons is also working with Ottawa Public Library as part of the beta testing process. RFID self-checkout supports the same level of self-service as traditional barcode self-checkout from a mobile phone, but with the additional technology required for RFID security gates. RFID self-checkout will be available for all libraries to subscribe to in 2023.

Increased community awareness of library offerings with Personalized Promotions

Personalized Promotions is a new feature designed to increase patron discovery and engagement with library-created content and services. Chicago Public Library and King County Library System are the first libraries to pilot this innovative feature. In 2022, the BiblioCommons team worked on operationalizing Personalized Promotions and plans to roll out the feature in 2023 to all libraries using BiblioWeb.

Personalized Promotions takes advantage of each library’s BiblioWeb content cards, which can display online resources, events, services, and expertise to patrons as they browse and explore the library’s collections.

What makes Personalized Promotions unique is its sophisticated platform, which ensures patrons are presented with content that is relevant to their immediate interests and is defined by their ’ search terms. Using library-curated metadata from BiblioWeb, BiblioEvents, and BiblioCore, Personalized Promotions will display the most relevant content to a patron without library staff needing to curate and select content manually.

New Events Listing Page for BiblioEvents

All libraries subscribed to BiblioEvents experienced the exciting launch of the new event listing page in April 2022. The new page layout improves the usability and user experience for patrons browsing the library’s online and in-person programs and events. Plus, it features event-specific images to catch patrons’ attention. In keeping with BiblioCommmons’ focus on accessibility, navigating the filters in BiblioEvents with a screen reader is now more straightforward and intuitive.The BiblioTeam carefully chose a combination of layout, font sizes, images, and colors to make it easy for audiences of all abilities to scan and understand the information on the page.

Usability Studies Guide the Redesign of Locations Pages

BiblioCommons designed and launched a new locations display page (available for libraries using BiblioWeb) to allow patrons to browse all library locations visually. Before the redesign, the display of the locations relied heavily on a map view. The BiblioTeam conducted usability studies that highlighted insightful findings: patrons are more interested in an A-Z view with large images of the library branches to locate and browse locations with specific services or other features. The new redesigned locations page was previewed by Arapahoe Libraries, Las Vegas Clark County Library District, and Jefferson County Public Library, and will be available to all other libraries that subscribe to BiblioWeb in early 2023.

Saving staff time and providing staff-focused tools

Managing and organizing locally created lists

While BiblioCommons shares staff and patron recommendation lists across all libraries using the BiblioCore catalog, many libraries asked for the ability to filter list searches to find only the lists created either by their community or staff. To support this request, the BiblioTeam added new facets to the List Search page in 2022. Library staff can now effortlessly locate lists created by them or their community, making it easy to manage and update recommendations shared in their BiblioCore catalog.

Enhanced recurring events promotion

Based on requests by library staff, BiblioCommons improved how recurring events are promoted in BiblioWeb. Series Event Cards now promote the next event in a recurring pattern, automatically update with the next event as time passes, and provide patrons with easy access to view all dates in BiblioEvents. This type of automation is unique to BiblioWeb; and is an excellent example of how BiblioCommons works with Library Partners to build time-saving features that benefit library staff and reduce the amount of manual work needed to keep their event listings up to date, and ensure patrons see the most relevant events.BiblioCommons worked directly with preview libraries including Arapahoe Libraries, Chicago Public Library, Pima County Library, and Sno-Isle Libraries, to develop and test this new functionality.

New BiblioCommons Product Idea Portal

BiblioCommons values feedback and recommendations from library staff to continually enhance the user experience for the entire product suite. To provide better support and tracking of product enhancements across the BiblioCommons Community, the team launched an entirely new idea portal on the Aha! Platform. The BiblioTeam migrated all existing feature suggestions and launched the new Product Idea Portal at BiblioCon, The Online Library Conference, in August 2022. With the new tool, partner libraries are better able to request, upvote and track enhancements and product ideas.

New Professional Services Packages to Support Library Staff

Based on requests from partner libraries, BiblioCommons has introduced a new Professional Services catalog with services and training to supplement the library’s expertise, provide updated and customized training, and help libraries reach their online patron experience goals faster and more effectively.

BiblioCommons Community and 2022 Events

BiblioCon ‘22, The Online Public Library Conference

In addition to hosting library partner events at PLA, ALA, and regional conferences, BiblioCommons hosted BiblioCon ’22 online in August. Two days of fast-paced presentations featured speakers from across the BiblioCommons community, including consultants. The BiblioCon planning committee comprised partner library representatives and BiblioCommons team members. This virtual experience was provided without cost to participants and brought together public libraries and BiblioCommons experts in UX, product, and online engagement for interactive sessions and collaborative discussions. Conference attendees learned best practices to create exceptional online library experiences and had the opportunity to engage with public library peers. BiblioCon was open to anyone working in a public library — 570 people registered to attend the 28 informative sessions, and over 100 people requested access to view session recordings.

Webinars and panel discussions featuring best practices and product updates

The BiblioCommons team shared industry best practices and product updates via webinars and online panel discussions throughout 2022. Online presentations in 2022 included, “Best Practices for Promoting Online Resources,” “Enhancing Patron Mobile App Experience with Self-Checkout,” “How to Create Online Content to Reflect a Diverse Community,” “What You Need to Know About Google Analytics 4,” and other product and industry topics.

Conclusion

BiblioCommons looks forward to 2023 as the team advances the Patron Measurement and Engagement Initiative with founding partners, provides insights into online patron behavior with GA4, and works on an ambitious roadmap to support an online patron experience that welcomes, inspires, and connects communities.

[View Narrative for 2021] [View Narrative for 2020] [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]