Personalized services for libraries

Iguana is a widget-based platform for personalization and communication with customers. Typically used for discovery and to create websites, Iguana can also provide customers with customized content to continuously improve satisfaction. Iguana’s extensive support for application programming interfaces (APIs) and widgets offers the ability to include third-party data, through a single coherent and beautiful interface, independent of the data’s source or storage location.

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Engage with the users

A user experience “beyond search”

Iguana gives libraries new ways to interact with their customers that go far beyond traditional search and discovery. Personalization, communication, integrations, and third-party information are just some of the many ways libraries can keep customers engaged in today’s digital world. Iguana is an online user collaboration and library marketing platform that includes many applications to engage with users and create a broader experience by:

  • Providing a robust communications infrastructure (website, email, newsletter, and communities) to understand customers and attract increasingly savvy users.
  • Engaging users in multiple, collaborative ways around many services and diverse information needs.
  • Effectively marketing the library and offering users a single environment.

Meet modern user expectations

Iguana’s unique advantages

  • A single platform for library marketing and user engagement.
  • Website creation and integration with third parties, including social media.
  • A full set of APIs with loosely connected applications, also facilitating the integration of third-party widgets.
  • Portability through widgets to provide users information where and when they want it on their preferred devices.
  • Users collaborating with one-another.
  • A customized look and feel, with personal profiles management.
  • Statistics and analytical/data mining via V-insight or via a third-party solution.
  • Automated interest emails management.
  • Integration with various library management systems (ILSs).


Marketing and collaboration

Libraries can now market their services and promote collections in a new, personalized and portable web environment. Iguana enables users to discover not only the library’s collections, but to engage with the library—and with other users—around many services, such as programs, book clubs, exhibits, and more.

Personalized user platform

Iguana enables libraries to reinvent their web presence to meet their users’ needs and expectations, and effectively reach out and drive usage of collections and services via social networks, personalized information, and information “portability.” Users can seamlessly engage with others and interact with content. They define their own experience and receive information catered specifically to their needs. They log-in to a personalized environment to get information “on demand,” when and where they want it.

Sharing knowledge and experiences

Users can share library content with their own online social network. They can create affinity groups around content, such as a book club or a group around the library’s art exhibits. They can share items—such as books, DVDs, and CDs—with their friends. Iguana natively interfaces with existing social networks, so that a customer placing a reservation or writing a review in Iguana can easily share it on Facebook® or export records to Pinterest®.

Understanding user behavior and habits

All user clicks in the Iguana platform are logged and made available for statistical reporting, allowing libraries to promote their offerings and services in highly personalized ways. The analytics tool provides insights on trends, where users “reside” online, and what their interests are. Libraries can measure who visited the website, the most viewed items, or number of newsletter views. Libraries can reach out to users based on specific demographic filters and proactively manage customer relationships.


The Iguana applications are tightly integrated with each other and with the library’s local systems, such as the ILS, Open URL Resolver, and federated search application. Events, featured items, and lists of personal items are directly linked to local databases and user activities. Through this tight integration, Iguana ensures a seamless transition between the “front end” interface and the back-end workflow.

Open and deconstructed environment

By using Iguana development guidelines, libraries get additional control over their web environment by being able to add their own applications to the framework and develop additional services. Each content area on the page is a widget and broken up into separate components. Website users can “grab” widgets and move them around on the page or export them elsewhere. Deconstructing the web presence makes the library mobile—libraries can engage with users and promote library services outside of their own site and at a time and place of the user’s choice.

Website applications overview

More than just a platform for building websites, Iguana provides:

Rich text items, including images

Pieces of information can be displayed that contain textual information and images. These are edited in Iguana’s content management system (CMS) via a rich text editor, which has Microsoft® Word-like features, but is fully geared towards editing web text.


The media browser has multiple variants (rivers, carrousel, and rolodexes). Items displayed are not limited to the local database but can also include featured websites, events, and others. Animations can even be populated from XML files.

RSS feeds

All animations can be RSS feeds and can be read by third-party RSS readers. Likewise, third-party RSS feeds can be included in the Iguana interface.

Word clouds

Word clouds are groups of words presented as clouds. They can lead to both search results and web pages. These clouds are created manually and can be used to influence perception and reception—as can many other Iguana applications.

Personal profiles

Users can create their own lists, define interests, and post comments. As these are fully integrated with the library’s local database, users can place reservations, see item reviews, and share them with their social network. Personalized actions, such as setting of personal search preferences, logon, self-check, loan, and check-in are also supported.


In addition to using traditional connections with library card barcode/PIN combinations, users can also access library collections through third-party applications, such as Facebook, Google®, and Yahoo!®. Logon methods include standards such as OAUTH and OpenID. Multiple single sign-on (SSO) technologies are also supported.


Iguana offers a wide range of capabilities for searching in both local and remote resources, and includes features such as facets, “direct” search, fuzzy logic, autocompletion, and profiles. The most appealing feature is probably the ability to do simultaneous searches in multiple resources.


Iguana allows libraries to create, customize, and manage an unlimited number of agendas and news topics within an unlimited number of agenda lists. For example, libraries can include an agenda with news for kids, or perhaps an agenda with news on music in a profile related to music.


Mashups are interfaces with third-party solutions. Information is displayed in a fully transparent way, so users can’t identify the different data sources. Maps, Twitter®, NoveList®, content APIs, Pinterest, Facebook, and Wikipedia® are just a few possible sources.

Reading lists

Iguana allows libraries to organize materials around a specific topic in a list. These lists can also be created automatically (for instance, to store all materials with a high rating) and can then be made available to other users via the groups function.

Interest trees

Interest trees contain library-defined interest topics and highlight new items. Interest trees are updated automatically with no user-intervention required and are presented in a fully customizable format.

Interest emails

Iguana is designed for personalization and communication with customers. The Interests function is one of the more popular ones—allowing users to select and add items, topics, lists, and groups of interest to their personal profile, so that Iguana automatically sends them emails with news related to their specific interests.

Integrated content management system

Iguana includes a CMS that is highly flexible and configurable. Profiles, pages, structures, designs, widgets, agendas, text, and media can all be customized.

Iguana Gateway

Iguana includes a rich set of APIs that allow libraries to access major functions programmatically.

Taking Iguana further

Iguana offers many add-on solutions to meet any library’s needs, such as newsletter creation and distribution, digital asset management, events booking and library apps for Apple® iOS and Android™. Iguana is also suited for narrowcasting.

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Extended search capabilities

Single click search

Within local collections, website, and digital asset management, as well as third-party resources through APIs.

Multiple search-type options

Truncation, masking, phrase searching, Boolean logic, proximity, and search term auto-completion.


Based on others lending activity in the ILS and on metadata.

Clustering and Functional Requirements

For Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model support. Optional records clustering in both search and reservations.

Relevancy ranking

And Wikipedia search integration.

Iguana add-on products

Manage collections, customers, and processes

With V-smart libraries enjoy the benefits of a browser-based environment, offering convenient access through a visually appealing and customizable interface to circulation, cataloguing, acquisitions, serials, reporting, and Web Opac.

Learn more about V-smart

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