OCLC announces the first phase launch of Bookmark Your Library

    Bookmark Your Library is now open to all Librarians in the UK for review. The website is a collaborative effort between OCLC and several leading library organisations in the UK, which provides a gateway to all the content and services that libraries have to offer new and existing users. By giving librarians exclusive early access to the site, OCLC intend to elicit their feedback to refine Bookmark Your Library, ahead of a full national public launch early in the 2013.

    The call is for librarians to log onto www.bookmarkyourlibrary.org.uk, review the website and then provide feedback to OCLC about functionality, content and features. The website offers several social media and communications channels for libraries to give comment, pledge support and help shape the service by making suggestions about how the site should evolve.

    Bookmark Your Library is about boosting visibility and usage of public library resources and services by moving them collectively online, and making them accessible via a single digital presence. Bookmark Your Library will be home to FABLibraries, the UK’s only public library national catalogue, which is based on the holdings of UnityUK subscribers. Users will also be able to use the site to access the Enquire digital reference service and chat online with a librarian to answer questions or support learning, at any time of the day or night. Bookmark Your Library will help people to find out about local library events, become a member, and provide them with the information they need to develop skills and pursue interests through their library service. And, they will be able to do all of this for free.

    OCLC has worked with a number of key stakeholders in the formation of Bookmark Your Library to meet the diverse needs of the UK public. Groups including the Society of Chief Librarians, Arts Council England, The Reading Agency, The Combined Regions, The Collections Trust and the RNIB, have all worked closely with OCLC to make Bookmark Your Library as relevant and inclusive as possible.

    In a statement, also released today, the Society of Chief Librarians affirmed its support for the initiative and discussed how Bookmark Your Library is aligned with its National Digital Promise for public libraries in Wales, England and Northern Ireland. “It is essential that all public library authorities deliver digital services alongside traditional ones. These services should be accessible to all regardless of ability.” Explains Janene Cox, SCL President: “As part of our Digital Promise, we have worked with OCLC to define Bookmark Your Library, which gives libraries a 24/7 virtual presence and people a website for common access to local and national digital services, such as an electronic catalogue of resources for loan. We will continue this work with OCLC to ensure that future releases of Bookmark Your Library move us even closer to our objectives and we hope that our members will help us in this endeavour.”

    Robin Murray, OCLC Vice President, Global Product Management, adds: “The release of Bookmark Your Library to the library community is a crucial milestone in this ongoing project. Of course as part of the process we will be consulting members of the public themselves to understand what they would like Bookmark Your Library to be, but many will be unaware of the potential of what public libraries have to offer. Librarians are the experts; they couple users with services and resources constantly. It’s that knowledge we need to ensure the success of Bookmark your Library going forward.”

    To be a part of Bookmark Your Library, please visit www.bookmarkyourlibrary.org.uk and use the site’s contact us form (www.bookmarkyourlibrary.org.uk/contact-us) to feedback. You can also get in touch via Facebook at www.facebook.com/bookmarkyourlibrary or Twitter at @bookmarkyourlib to let us know what you think, and what you believe the UK public would like to see included on the site.