Tips for Our New Catalog (Round Two)

by Brian H.


At its heart Sno-Isle Libraries is a community doorway to reading, resources, and lifelong learning, and a center for people, ideas, and culture. Our new library catalog makes moving through that community doorway easier than ever.

I shared about my favorite features in Sno-Isle Libraries’ catalog a few weeks ago (Comments, Lists and Videos). Here are even more features that allow library customers to connect with each other and create community.


A reminder about privacy

The new catalog defaults to letting you share content that you create with other customers. You may choose to change your settings to private in your account settings.



5 Star Rating for this PBS Masterpiece Program

Probably the quickest way to get active in the community is to share your ratings on what you are reading, viewing and listening to.  An average rating for any item in the catalog is displayed in your search results. Click into the title’s catalog record to find the  option.  Add your rating, anywhere between 1/2 star to 5 stars. Benefit from other library customers’ ratings by searching for materials based on ratings. Find all PBS DVDs with a 4- 5 star rating.

Summaries and Quotes

“God is the color of water. Water doesn’t have a color.” ― James McBride, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother

Adding summaries and quotes take a bit more effort, but they add valuable content to the catalog and encourage community connections. Here’s an excellent summary of James McBride’s Color of Water by a King County Library customer (the new catalog connects us with libraries next door and around the world):

Subtitled – A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother, McBride takes us to the public housing projects of New York City where he and 11 brothers and sisters live. They are all black. James knows there is something different about his mother. When asked, she would declare – “I’m light-skinned,” and change the subject. As years went by, James learned about his mother, her Jewish background and the mysteries of her life that unfolded, bit by bit. In short, Ruth McBride eventually told him her story of being a rabbi’s daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a Baptist church, and put the twelve children through college. This book is also on the list of 75 best books in the last 75 years. An engrossing story and on the best-seller list back in the mid- to late-90s. It is truly a classic.



Recently added to my Completed Shelf

Add titles to your Shelves!

Ever forget a title you see and think “I should read that book, AFTER I finish the 15 books on the to read shelf at home”? Click the For Later Shelf button to add the title to your virtual to be read shelf.

I’m typically a one book at a time reader so my In Progress shelf usually has a single title that I’m actually reading at the moment. However, I’ll leave the title I’ve finished reading on my In Progress shelf until I’ve had a chance to rate and/or comment. Once I’ve added my rating or comment I’ll move the title to my Completed Shelf.




Following Other Library Readers, Viewers and Listeners

This title was on a list that I liked! The list was created by a user I follow. It’s now added to my For Later Shelf.

Find your next book to read, movie to watch or music to listen to by discovering it on a fellow reader’s Completed Shelf or list they’ve created. Expand your library world significantly by taking in the contributions others have made to the catalog. When you choose to follow people you will get notifications in your Newsfeed about their comments, ratings, lists, completed titles, etc. (essentially all the features I’ve highlighted in these two blog posts). When you see user created content that you like, click the like button  and give the person a virtual thumbs up/high five. Share lists and comments with others on your social media sites. 







Start expanding your library community today: add my profile, snoislelib_brianh, to your account. Share with others what you’ve discovered as you mine the depths of Sno-Isle Libraries, an amazing doorway to reading, resources, and lifelong learning, and a center for people, ideas, and culture.

See complete list of DVDs


3 responses to “Tips for Our New Catalog (Round Two)”

  1. Cheryl Eriksen says:

    The main thing I have noticed about the new catalog format the “reading History”, and it is a problem for me. I have contacted Sno-Isle about it, and have received all the help possible, but wish there was one more thing that could be done.

    The new format does not keep as long a record as the old one does. I did receive a reading history file that I could keep for myself, showing all the history I had amassed, and appreciate that. However, I have to update it regularly to add to that file because the current format is not very useful to me. I don’t really need to see the book cover, and the order in which I borrowed item is not important. What I want to look for is whether I have borrowed a specific book, or read something by a specific author in the past. The old format allowed sorting by date, title or author. The new one is date only. So I have to regularly copy out the material, paste it into a file on my computer, and then add it to my imported file to have a place to sort by author or title. I would really appreciate it if the new format could have a simple option to search by something besides the date order. And I would imagine I am not the only person who used reading history for that purpose. Hoping that adjustment can me made in the future!

    • Brian Haight says:

      Hi Cheryl!

      Thanks for your suggestion about enhancements to the borrowing history feature in Bibliocommons. It’s one aspect that I decided not cover in my two posts on tips for the new catalog since it is less about interacting with the Bibliocommons community and more about individual managing of personal reading selections. I do hope there will be enhancements made to the options for sorting history in the future. I will relay your suggestion to staff overseeing and making enhancement recommendations to the software vendor for the new catalog.

  2. Brian Haight says:

    For those following along with these two posts and the comments about new catalog tips, here is a link to information about the catalog Borrowing History feature.

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