Browser Plugins

You can help people at the reference desk and give bibliographic instruction sessions til the cows come home, but you can’t look over your patrons’ shoulders 24/7 when they’re doing research to make sure they’re doing it correctly…or can you?

Well, no. Not yet. But your library can provide an extra helping hand by creating a downloadable web browser toolbar that can guide their searching through electronic resources. On Friday, a post on the law.librarians blog mentioned one that BYU’s Howard W. Hunter Law Library created. (See their blog post here for details and screenshots.) I contacted them and it turns out that their toolbar was created by Offshoot Systems LLC.

If you’re more of a DIYer and/or don’t have the funds to have a toolbar created for you, you can also try LibX. It’s a free, open source toolbar builder. Here are some screenshots that show how it functions. I’ve had this site bookmarked for a while, but I haven’t even looked at the documentation to see if this is something that my limited technical skills could master. (Our OPAC is supported, so we got that going for us, which is nice. ) As with my Facebook OPAC search application, I keep hoping someone else in at my university will give it a go. However, as with my Facebook OPAC search application, I have a feeling I’ll get tired of waiting and just start messing around with it and hope for the best.

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5 Responses

  1. Have you created your own Facebook application for your OPAC? I’m exploring the idea but was hoping that someone had already done the work with a Millennium system.

  2. FWIW, I’ve successfully created a custom LibX toolbar (haven’t publicized it yet, but I use it all the time myself), but I have yet to get our OPAC plugin on Facebook to work.

  3. Thanks for the information!

  4. Do you know of anyone who has created a Facebook application search catalogs based on Millennium? I’m trying to find a library that has already done this, so all I need to do is replace the server names. 😉

  5. I don’t off the top of my head. Unfortunately, probably the fastest way to find out (which won’t be very fast) is to search FB applications for “catalog” and check every library’s OPAC to see what they use for their ILS.

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