December 2, 2021

Chicago Public Library Signs Deal With BiblioCommons


The Chicago Public Library has joined the list of major U.S. libraries that have signed on with Toronto-based BiblioCommons as its discovery provider.

An investment from the Chicago Public Library Foundation made possible the three-year deal that was announced Saturday. Among the other libraries where Bibliocommons’s BiblioCore catalog is live are Seattle Public Library, Cleveland Public Library, Boston Public Library, and New York Public Library, which has a financial stake in the company.

The deal will feature cross-marketing of collections, events, and services through the library’s catalog and its redeveloped website. BiblioCommons multi-tenant software-as-a service (SaaS) approach provides this type of greater integration, which is a goal of the ReadersFirst Initiative which held a meeting on Monday at the Seattle Public Library to discuss such issues with many major e-content distributors and ILS vendors.

“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,” said Library Commmissioner Brian Bannon in a press release.

In addition to the more integrated catalog experience, another goal, according to the release, is to reduce the cost of technological infrastructure and the need for inhouse technical expertise, which will allow greater time to curate the library’s collection and engage with the community.

BiblioCommons said it will improve on current services and develop new products that can then be shared with other public libraries to ensure scalability and innovation.

“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 an exploration for the community of Chicago—both in person and online,” said Beth Jefferson, a co-founder of Bibliocommons. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with such an innovative library.”

Michael Kelley About Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley is the former Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal.