HomeReaders ServicesCatalog Info

Welcome to Bibliocommons!

  • easier search tool to find what you want
  • tag items in the catalog with your terms
  • rate and review titles you borrow
  • get personalized recommendations from users you follow
  • create lists and shelves for your own interests
  • take a tour of the catalog features


The login feature will prompt you to register if you have not already done so. You will need your library card number and the password to your account.  The password is "patron" unless you have changed your password. Once you are logged in you will be asked to create a user profile if you have not already done so. Your user profile will appear on Bibliocommons if you choose to make your information public. Since you create your user name you may select a name that is recognizable or a name that is not recognizable. Remember to create your own unique password so your account is secure. It is important to log out at the end of your session if you are on a shared computer. This will insure your privacy from the next user.


Wilmette and Kenilworth residents may log into MY WPL to access their personal library accounts. The "My WPL" function will keep track of items you have checked out, due dates, fines, any holds you may have, and allow you to renew most materials. You will be able to create lists and keep track of items that you wish to read or have read.


Privacy settings are set through My WPL. Use the privacy settings in your Bibliocommons account to determine what others see. Select "Privacy" in My WPL to mark your shelves as private or public.



Why do I have to register and choose a username?

Registration is not needed to simply search the catalog but is needed to place holds, renew materials, etc. Usernames are easier to remember than long strings of digits. Your username will be associated with any comments, tags, and/or lists you create if you choose to take part in the social networking features of Bibliocommons (BC).

Why am I asked for my e-mail?

It is optional to enter your e-mail address when registering. If you select to provide your e-mail address, you will be notified if you forget your username or password. You will not receive e-mail updates if you enter your e-mail address.

Must I enter my age?

A birth date is not required to register but is featured to protect minors. The messaging feature on the site is restricted to patrons 13 years of age and older. If patrons don’t provide their month and year of birth, the site will assume he is a minor and block the ability to receive messages from other patrons. Also, patrons under age 13 make a username from drop-down menus rather than creating their own.

Why should I change my password from the default password, “patron”?

This protects the privacy of your account information. In the past, library card numbers were the only way to access account information. Since BC provides access with a username, and others can see your username if you make comments, it’s essential that the password be something that others can’t easily guess.

What about privacy issues?

When first setting up your account, go to My Account and click on Privacy. If you decide to maintain “completed,” “in-progress,” and “for later” shelves, you will want to decide whether or not you want other users to have the ability to see them. Check the boxes if you want to keep them private.

How does the keyword search work?

In the first “phase,” title, author and subject fields are searched. This first search does not include rarely selected fields (including publisher and notes). The Broaden Your Search link is always available, making it easy to expand to a more exhaustive result set when a user has not found what he or she is seeking.

What is the difference between keyword anywhere vs. Smart Search?

Smart Search uses a two-phased search process. The first stage matches only the fields that people use most: title, author, and subject fields (in addition to language and format). With your search results you have the option to Broaden Your Search. This second phase expands the scope of your search to include other, more rarely used fields. Advanced Search’s Keyword Anywhere, on the other hand, searches all fields at once, including local notes, publishers, and so on.

Why does the catalog change what I searched for?

I typed doctors but the search resulted as “physicians.” This is called auto-suggest; the system will automatically change a search so that it matches a common library subject heading.

Why would I use Broaden Your Search?

You choose to broaden your search when the results you have received are too narrow. Once you’ve broadened, you can use facets to find more specific search results.

What is a facet?

Facets allow you to narrow down large quantities of search results. You can narrow down by facets to find out information such as availability, format, target age, and topic. You probably have seen facets already on sites like Amazon.com.

How do I add an item to my Virtual Shelves?

Items can be added by clicking on “Add to My Shelves” or by commenting, rating, or tagging an item.

When should I make a list as opposed to just tagging?

Listing is used when you want to express judgment on items and categorize them. Tagging is used simply to categorize items. On Bibliocommons it said that x book is scary/funny/etc. I disagree. Why?
Library users contribute their own ideas in tagging and comments, and you will never agree with everyone. Hopefully you’ll discover users with whom you share common reading habits or opinions. You can choose which user’s advice to follow.

How do I change my password?

Look underneath “MY WPL” and click “Account Settings” under “My Account.” You can change your password here.


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