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Changes to the Library’s Online Catalog


The New York Public Library has transitioned to a new catalog interface that will be more closely integrated with the rest of NYPL’s online offerings. The transition took place on Monday, October 19, 2015. Please note that our classic catalog remains unchanged.

Screenshot of online catalog search results
Among other features, the new online catalog offers a more accurate display of item availability.

Quick Links

What is the online catalog and why did the Library change it?

The Library’s online catalog allows users to explore our vast circulating and research collections to find what they need. After careful evaluation, we determined that our former online catalog provided too few opportunities for customization. Therefore, to better position ourselves for the development of new tools and features designed to enhance your user experience, we switched to a new catalog interface that provides more flexibility for future growth.

This change is a crucial first step in the Library’s plan to better integrate the rich collection of items in our catalog with the wealth of other content NYPL has to offer—from our Digital Collections to staff blog posts, listings for public programs, and more. This will allow us to design tailored, personalized experiences to better meet the individual needs of our users.

We know that many of you have been affected by these changes and we apologize for any inconvenience you may experience. We look forward to working with you to improve the catalog experience.  We value your opinion and want to hear your feedback. Please use this form to submit your questions and comments. 

How is the new online catalog different?

Your Information and Privacy

As part of the catalog transition, all information associated with your user account was transferred from the old system (BiblioCommons) to NYPL on October 12, 2015. PLEASE NOTE that, unless you have already taken steps to deactivate your BiblioCommons account, you will still have an active BiblioCommons account.  You should coordinate directly with BiblioCommons if you no longer want an account with them. 

Your interactions with the new catalog are covered by the NYPL Privacy Policy and not by the BiblioCommons Privacy Statement. Any lists that you had saved in your BiblioCommons account before October 12, 2015 have been tied to your NYPL account, and you are now able to log in to the new catalog with your existing barcode or username and PIN. So, unless you are a new patron, NYPL will not, in the short term, collect any more information than you had already provided to either BiblioCommons or to NYPL directly before October 12, 2015.  If that changes (e.g., as a result of new functions being added to the new online catalog), we will let you know. Further, any information collected, stored or processed about you through the new online catalog will be treated similarly to other information collected about you through NYPL’s other online services.  We recommend you read the NYPL Privacy Policy carefully to fully understand what information may be collected about you and how that information is used by NYPL.. If you have any questions about how your data is collected and used through the new catalog, please contact Johannes Neuer, Director of Customer Experience, at

Logging In / Your Account

As you may be aware, NYPL offers two catalog experiences. What we commonly call the catalog is typically used by those who visit our neighborhood branches while the classic catalog tends to be used by those working in our research centers. To serve all catalog users, we've provided a drop-down prompt in our website navigation that allows you to select your preferred catalog experience, then log in. 

In the coming months we will work toward implementing a single sign-on (SSO) solution that will streamline the log in process. Additionally, SSO will better position us to begin offering new interfaces and tools for you to interact with the Library.

Lists and Shelves

We have migrated your lists from the old online catalog to the new one. Your shelves have come over to the new catalog as lists. So, unless you deleted your shelves and lists in BiblioCommons before October 12, 2015, your lists have now been transferred to the new catalog.

Some users have reported issues with their lists. Please contact Ask NYPL with any questions.

Please note that, in the new online catalog, you are not able to make your lists visible to other users. Unlike in the old catalog, you are not able to share your lists publicly.

The new online catalog is more directly integrated with the systems that our Library staff use to keep the catalog up to date. That means that when you search, you get a faster, more accurate display of item availability.

The new catalog offers many of the same search refinement tools as the old catalog, allowing you to narrow down your search results. It prioritizes availability as the first refinement, immediately letting you know which of your search results are available at the Library or from anywhere online.

E-Book Integration

Thanks to improved integration with e-book providers, the new catalog allows you to return e-books early, before their due date. This frees up space for you to check out more e-books and makes more titles available to other catalog users.

Social and Other Features

The new online catalog does not have some of the social features available in the old catalog, such as user ratings and reviews. We found that these features were not widely used by our cardholders and are currently determining how to make them better for you.

If there are other features that you would like to see us add or features that you cannot find in the new catalog, please contact Ask NYPL.

NYPL Mobile Catalog App

When the Library changed our online catalog system in mid October, it was required that we also replace the catalog app.  At that time, as an interim measure, we released a temporary catalog app that displayed the mobile web site—while also working to develop a robust replacement.

Responding to users that the temporary app’s functionality was too limited, we have decided to send users directly to the mobile web site and to remove the temporary catalog app from the store. Users who downloaded or updated the app between October 19 and November 12 will continue to be able to use the app.   

Mobile Website

You can log into the catalog through your mobile web browser at Some users viewing the catalog on a mobile browser have reported that the desktop version of the site appears instead of the mobile version. If this occurs, please scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Mobile Site” link. We are aware of this issue and will resolve it in the weeks ahead.

How can I provide feedback?

As we undertake these changes, we value your opinion and want to hear from you. We know that there are some features from the previous online catalog that you would like to see in the new catalog. We welcome your feedback regarding what those features are, or other enhancements you would like to see in the future, and how they should be prioritized for introduction. Please use this form to submit your questions and comments.