Knowledge Ontario

June 18, 2009

Knowledge Ontario is pleased to announce that the next phase in implementing the Connect Ontario/BiblioCommons discovery layer OPAC for public libraries is about to begin.

The BiblioCommons team has prepared a comprehensive guide to support the implementation process in 2009. They will be contacting early adopters as they are ready to implement Sirsi Dynix, Innovative and Evergreen libraries. Within the next two weeks, the BiblioCommons team will be contacting all Sirsi Dynix libraries. They expect to be ready for Innovative Interface libraries by the end of the summer, and for Evergreen libraries by the late fall.

Exciting advances
It has been some time since we communicated formally with you and we apologize for the delay. However, it proved to be necessary and highly productive. This winter we reported to you a delay in the process to allow BiblioCommons to resolve some design and performance issues to strengthen its database architecture. These included improvements to synchronization efforts and user content aggregation that are at the heart of this "Connect Ontario" initiative.

Over the last five months, BiblioCommons has implemented this new architecture and its performance exceeded our testing expectations. Knowledge Ontario actively supported this process, and, along with Oakville Public Library staff, has played an integral role in overseeing and evaluating its outcomes. We are fully confident in the scaling and aggregation capabilities demonstrated. As well, a streamlined implementation process provides for both customized branding and easy, rapid deployment. New libraries can now be oriented, installed and live within a matter of weeks.

Knowledge Ontario took this time to ensure that we are supporting the best possible product for our libraries. We are sure you will be impressed with the results. This is an exciting time as we ready ourselves to support libraries in rolling out this next generation discovery OPAC service. BiblioCommons offers Public Libraries both leading edge functionality and the opportunity to share reviews and ratings across all participating libraries both within and outside Ontario. Further, the ability for customers to message each other, seek out recommendations and add to the richness of the catalogue is truly unique. In our view, this service is a generation ahead of any comparable products in the marketplace.

Planning ahead
While initial plans will focus on the early adopters who completed the expressions of interest process last fall, a new invitation to all libraries is also being developed. Through the pioneering effort of Knowledge Ontario as a Charter Subscriber, the cost of this service is already prepaid for the next two years. In addition, by participating in this initiative, libraries have the opportunity to influence future improvements to the service. BiblioCommons is very committed to developing this service based on ideas from the ground up and around the needs of Public Library users in particular.

Interim Project Manager Gail Richardson
Oakville Public Library has been working closely with BiblioCommons since the beginning. Over a good part of 2007-2008, OPL staff and more than 200 of their customers beta-tested the product and offered much feedback at every stage of development towards the first live version. OPL has had the BiblioCommons product up and running since July of 2008, and has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from their customers.

Given that close involvement, Gail Richardson, Manager of Online Services at Oakville PL will act, on a part-time basis, as interim Project Manager for Connect Ontario. Gail will act as an advisor to early adopter libraries, provide feedback to BiblioCommons on documentation and support procedures, and act as the main point of contact between libraries and Knowledge Ontario in working provincially with BiblioCommons. One of Gail's first tasks will be to act as convener for the BiblioCommons user community to create collaborative planning and problem-solving processes.

If you have any questions about what to expect in planning to implement based on OPL's experience -- please contact Gail anytime at - Please also feel free to contact Gail with any questions regarding KO's agreement with BiblioCommons, or with suggestions for strengthening the partnership.

For questions that are specific to the technology, or implementation requirements and procedures, please contact Jason at - directly.

In closing
We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity by looking at the benefits that BiblioCommons can offer your library. KO and BiblioCommons will continue to work closely to ensure the success of this Connect Ontario initiative.

David Thornley
Executive Director
Knowledge Ontario