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Search Widgets adn Gadgets for Libraries: IL 2008

October 20, 2008

Search Widgets and Gadgets for Libraries

Jason Clark and Tim Donahue

Wiki.sla.org= able to do 23 things learn web 2.0 technologies in 15 minutes a day

Networked research environment and search-push technologies

New technologies, widget, gadget, and Flash animated finding tools

Where are Users are: personal-learning environment (PLE), users in all types of areas on the web, work in flickr, facebook, blogs

How to do research through: iGoogle, and other portals

Want users to use our resources, stuff moves quickly, technology moves quickly

What do we do/play?
“broadcast our signals” more widely, need to work in distributed environments

OpenSearch browser plugins–widgets
Google Gadgets–JavaScript applications, can link into library resources/catalog
Hook people and bring back to library resources

Montana State University: has page that has widget page to promote them to users

Examples:
Widget to enter library catalog through the browser, very cool application, don’t have to come into the library catalog, can do it for databases too, very easy to set up, very small XML file to create this widget

Google Gadgets: can build, quick search functionality, allow people to search in their own environment, users can drop this gadget into iGoogle page, Google has text editors (Google Gadget Editor) and can copy and paste code so not difficult to do, gives you the embed code after you make the gadget

Google Gadgets: there is the ability to have tabbed widgets–how cool is that?

All is done to allow users access to library resources through the environment they are comfortable with

Multiple Endpoints:
Facebook, MySpace, web portals, etc.
Can have library widgets that work in many different environments

What’s  next?
Promotion of the widgets and gadgets through education, videos, marketing
Figure out more opportunities–go where the users are instead of forcing one size fits all way of searching the library

Interplay between physical and digital resources/services in libraries

Apply new technology to books

Flash–animate the web! J
Example: library map, animate a map, mouse over the stacks to see what subjects/call number ranges in the stacks

Simplicity is key in visual design

Flash works through frames: drawing, animating through time and space, way to get around doing coding (ex. Took about 200 hours to create the example map)

Trying to integrate the map into the catalog, nice idea ex. Search catalog, find record, click link to see where it is in the library through the map

Flash is scalable so it is possible to work it into a widget, you don’t use resolution and can maximize widget/gadget to see larger version of the map

Arizona State University and Montana State University moving towards Google Application platform, have students use iGoogle pages as home portal and access resources through there

Take home message:
Widgets and Gadgets have the ability to bring the library to the users’ environment and push people to the library’s online resources/services, great ideas!

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