Biblio is Back!
What is BiblioCommons?
BiblioCommons is the catalog that we previously used (from October 2015– September 2022), before switching to Vega Discover. We made the switch to Vega because of the opportunities for customization and integration. Unfortunately, this suite of programs is still in beta testing and after launching, we found that it wasn’t quite ready for patron use. We also got a fair amount of pushback after the switch. After much debate, we decided to move back to the catalog that our patrons have grown to know and love.
Using these product names will help distinguish between Discover and BiblioCommons in this FAQ, but you can also think about these two different pieces of software simply as the new catalog (BiblioCommons) and the old catalog (Discover). If you used the BiblioCommons catalog previously, you should already be familiar with it and have no problems adjusting to the switch back.
When will I need to stop using the old catalog, Discover?
BiblioCommons will first be available through the mobile app, beginning at the end of March. You won’t have to do anything to make changes, the app should automatically update (if your phone is set to allow that). We will continue to update when the desktop version of BiblioCommons is available and when Discover is no longer available. Both catalogs will be available until August, at which point, BiblioCommons will once again become the only catalog.
If you do not already have the mobile app, you will have to go to the App Store or Google Play to manually download the app. Search for, “Central Arkansas Library System.” (Searching for “CALS catalog” does not generally work.)
Why is CALS switching back to BiblioCommons from Vega?
CALS is dedicated to providing services to our patrons that they not only need but also enjoy using. When the millage was passed, we promised to bring back popular apps like Hoopla that had previously been discontinued. When we made the switch to Vega Discover, we knew there would be a learning curve for both staff and patrons and after less than six months, it is apparent that Discover is not the best fit for either audience at CALS. We heard a lot of people express their love of BiblioCommons, so we are going back to the original catalog.
What does this mean for any new holds, lists and saved items?
Holds will transfer automatically back to BiblioCommons with no problem. We are still working with the team at Vega to determine if we will be able to extract the data where lists and saved items are currently stored.
How do I get to the new catalog?
On August 1, 2023, links to our catalog in cals.org will be changed to connect to BiblioCommons only and we will change the search form on cals.org so it searches the new catalog. Until that time, you can choose to search on Discover or BiblioCommons.
How do I login to my account in the new catalog?
If you have never created an account or logged into your account in the old catalog just click “Log In”, enter your library card number and your PIN/password. You will be prompted to register an account, which will include creating a username. If you have lost your library card, or forgotten your PIN, please contact any CALS location for assistance.
What will happen to my holds?
All information about the titles you have on hold is maintained by a different system; the online catalog just displays that information for you and lets you add, change (in some situations), and cancel holds. Both the old and new catalogs should show the same hold information when you view your account, as well as the same checkout and fine/fee information. In the new catalog you can view holds, checkouts, and fines/fees by logging in then clicking the Bookshelf at the bottom of the page to open your personal Bookshelf.
Will my lists transfer?
Yes (sort of)! Your “Reading History” will carry over as “Borrowing History.” Any lists you previously created in BiblioCommons before the switch last year will still be there. We are still working though the possibility of being able to extract any new lists (Bookmarks) that were created in Discover.