Staff Account

These are the official guidelines for use of authorized web catalog staff accounts by members of the Indianapolis Public Library Shared System. Such activity includes: creating an IndyPL Shared System staff account profile, posting comments on items, creating lists, and annotating items in the catalog.

All staff members who use BiblioCommons to create and use a staff account should understand and follow these guidelines. 

Staff Account: Location/IndyPL Shared System Identity

 In order to create reader’s advisory content on behalf of your library, you will need to set up a BiblioCommons Shared System Library Account. You should create a BiblioCommons Staff Account library card that can be used only for this purpose.  We would like you to use your location name and the word library. 

While using your Staff Account in BiblioCommons, the icon appearing by your username will be a blue circle with IndyPL in the center, indicating, along with your IndyPL username, that your library is connected to IndyPL.

Since you are writing and sharing under the IndyPL brand, all policies regarding acceptable use, web content, materials selection and professionalism apply, as would any policies applicable at your location.

Location Expertise and IndyPL Shared System Identity

We know you have experts at your locations, whether they are teachers, museum curators, social workers, or event planners!  If they are interested in sharing this expertise with your school, we would welcome their participation.  Because like you, they won’t want to mix their personal and professional lives, we recommend they use their SRM card, NOT their personal library card, to set up a user account. 

Ask your teachers to use a similar naming convention to make their expertise clear, and to make sure students know they’re on the right list.

  • If a teacher/curator leaves, change the PIN in the Polaris LEAP.  This immediately prevents them from being able to login to the BiblioCommons account and either remove valuable content or create inappropriate content.   The new teacher/curator can then login using the barcode and PIN number and change the username to whatever they want to change it to.

Staff Account – Profiles

Your BiblioCommons profile is the place to introduce yourself to your readers, and to the public. It is a great way to build community with your patrons and other BiblioCommons users. Remember that anyone with a BiblioCommons account, not just your users or IndyPL users, can see and access your staff profile and follow you on BiblioCommons.  Teachers/curators creating accounts with SRM cards shouldfollow the same guidelines.

DO follow these profile guidelines:

  • Do show personality.
  • Do say you’re a part of the IndyPL Shared System (that way it will make sense that you have a Library staff icon underneath your username).
  • Do customize your areas of interest and specializations. Show the audience what you are an expert in.
  • Do fill out the website space with your location website URL.  If you have a library website, even better.
  • Do fill out the Twitter handle space with your location Twitter handle.  If you have your own library Twitter handle, even better!

DON’T make these profile mistakes:

  • Don’t post confidential information.
  • Don’t promote your personal websites, blogs, or social media handles. Remember, this is your professional library profile, not your personal account.

The Profile can be a fun place to engage readers.  If they see a list you’ve created, they can follow your profile and find other lists you’ve already made, or lists you create in the future.

General Tone and Voice

In addition to providing more accurate search results than previous catalog products, the main goal of implementing BiblioCommons is to engage our patrons with Readers’ Advisory (RA) in the form of book and/or media reviews, recommended reading lists, and various other tools.

At IndyPL, our mission is to “enrich lives and build communities through lifelong learning.”  Our online catalog is a critical part of that mission because our patrons use it to find something they need!  BiblioCommons RA tools create a unique opportunity for us to communicate with patrons in the moment they are actively searching for library services. 

To make that connection, we want to present ourselves to patrons as helpful experts.  Some patrons find looking things up in the catalog daunting or even overwhelming.  We can use our experience and expertise to connect patrons with library offerings that they might not otherwise find.  Picture yourself talking to a patron who is eager for recommendations when you’re creating content for BiblioCommons.

It’s okay to find a voice that is unique to you.  You can be dry and witty (“people who enjoy paint drying should give this book a try”), or you can be effusive and over-the-top (“THIS BOOK WAS THE BEST BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF BOOKS”) as long as you’re being workplace appropriate.  BiblioCommons will help us build community, and your community has a wide variety of patrons.  You will use different voices when talking to younger students or older students.  Museum library staff should take note here.  You may have lists for your curators, but you might also create lists for any IndyPL patron.  Obviously, the voice you use will be different!