February 23, 2008

Widgets! Libraries Need 'Em

This is one of my favorite Giants, Osi Umenyiora. And this is an ESPN widget of him ... doesn't seem to include the postseason or the Superbowl (which is a shame), but it was *ridiculously* easy to add to this blog. Or, frankly, just about any other social networking tool on the planet, from Facebook to Friendster (still?!) to just about anything in between.

Shouldn't library tools be this easy to add to a user's site?

Imagine ... an OPAC widget. An Academic Search Premier widget. A Scopus widget. An Institutional Repository widget.

Why not?


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. In fact, I've been thinking recently about ways to apply personalized homepages, like iGoogle, to library settings. What if the resources and services that we provided were available as widgets that students could add to their own iGoogle page? It seems like usage would almost certainly go up.

People just don't seem to be willing to take the steps it requires to go to a library's homepage and find the resources they need. Being available at the point of need seems to be more important to them. Of course, that's just my impression. -- Gary

CogSci Librarian said...

Linda Braun posted about this NYPL grant application that WOULD create widgets of NYPL resources for teens: "Web-Based Homework - What Do Teens & Tweens Really Want"


Maxine said...

We have a LibGuides trial (we're going to get it!), and I tried the widget LibGuide provides on a demo SPARK (what we call our Blackboard here) page, and loved it! It even has a search box for the OPAC. To our joy and amazement, the search worked!

CogSci Librarian said...

I like the LibGuides widget ... but still, that's for *librarians* and I'm really interested in seeing us create widgets for end users -- so they (students, faculty, general public) can put widgets wherever THEY want ... like iGoogle, netvibes, whatever.

For faculty, this might include in a course web site ... it's great if librarians can do it, but wouldn't it be even greater if "they" could do it too?!

Gerry Sell said...

Yes, yes, yes! I arrived at your site because I was blogging about braille astronomy books on one of mine. I'm a writer, not a librarian, and it would be a huge help to have useful widgets on library home pages where ordinary people (and professional non-librarian researchers) can use them.

You are all so blessedly helpful whenever I'm trying to find out darned near anything. Widgets are a tool you can put in public hands to help you help us. (OK, awkward sentence - I take back the claim to be a writer, at least for the moment.)

Matt said...

We've created a few library widgets (igoogle, facebook, etc) That you can see at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/tools.

You can read more about how to create your own at our blog - http://blogs.lib.utexas.edu/tis