Deep Dive Into the Library Website
Let’s keep it simple. There is only one “best” place to look for information about Burlington Public Library—our website, bpl.on.ca. Of course, you can find plenty of useful info about programs and services on our social media channels, print program guides, and email newsletters. Still, our website is your go-to resource for the most complete and up-to-date information about everything BPL.
We’ve made some recent upgrades to our website, so let’s take a quick tour! Whether you’re new to BPL or a library super-user, here’s how to get the most out of your website experience.
The Main Search Box Is Your Treasure Map
At the top of every BPL website page lives a powerful search tool. It looks like a long empty box with a magnifying glass icon at one end. Even when you know exactly where to look on our website, using the main search box may get you there faster. The search function is divided into three categories: Catalogue, BPL site, or Events.
Catalogue: Search our collection to find physical items—such as books, DVDs, technology, kits of all kinds, and CDs—that you can borrow with your library card. You’ll find eBooks and eAudiobooks in our catalogue too! Searching the catalogue is like searching an index of all the things you can borrow from the library.
BPL site: This option searches the whole website except the catalogue and events calendar. Searching the BPL site is fast and simple. It takes the guesswork out of where to look on the website for library information, such as library hours, featured programs, digital movies to stream, MakerSpace equipment you can use, and how to suggest a title for our collection.
Events: Since search by Events relies on keywords used in our online program calendar. It’s a great option if you know a word or two in the program title or the name of an author that is speaking at the library.
The Website and the Catalogue Are Different
Our online catalogue operates on another site powered by a global library catalogue service called BiblioCommons. Clicking a catalogue link actually takes you away from bpl.on.ca to a complex online database that stores records for all the physical items and some digital titles in our collection. You can use your My BPL account to log in to BPL’s BiblioCommons site and place holds, check your due dates and more.
Knowing the catalogue and website are connected but not interchangeable can help you better understand what to expect from each site and how to use them more efficiently and effectively.
Tip! If you ever run into trouble using the online catalogue, first check its Help system by clicking on the Help link/question mark icon beside the My BPL login link. You can troubleshoot 24/7 and quickly resolve most of the problems you encounter.
Start at the Top
If the main search box is the treasure map, our website’s top navigation menu is where “X marks the spot.” Here you’ll find information organized into eight sections that cover the most popular things people want to know about.
From left to right, you’ll find CATALOGUE, BOOKS, RESOURCES, PROGRAMS, PARENTS, SERVICES, NEWS, and ABOUT. Dig deeper into these sections and you’ll find we’ve reorganized and decluttered to group information for easier access. We improved the pathways to follow when clicking through the site.
Follow the Crumbs
We added breadcrumbs wherever possible so you can quickly reverse the direction of your search without having to start over. You can find these “breadcrumb” links above each page heading with arrows between them. Click on the name of the page you’d like to return to and you’ll be back in a flash. Much better than Hansel and Gretel’s fate!
There’s No Place Like Home
If you’re unsure where your searching has landed, you can always click on the BPL logo in the top left corner to get to the home page and back to the main search box.
Continuous Improvement Is Our Goal
With 864,484 visits to our website in 2022 and nearly 813,000 visits to the online catalogue, the Library is deeply invested in delivering a website experience that exceeds your expectations. We welcome your feedback through our Contact Us web form to help us always keep improving. (You can also find the form in the footer of every website and catalogue page!)