Widgets and Widgetry for Librarians: Copy, Paste, and Relax

mmi@s coverI <3 full text and free! My latest article for “Multimedia & Internet @ Schools” is available online for everyone to read. Titled Widgets and Widgetry: Copy, Paste, and Relax, the art department gave the cover and article the Hogwarts treatment. Dare I tell them I haven’t read a single word of any HP books?

Here’s the first bit:

Students can easily overlook websites that aren’t filled with often changing content. Do you think you’re too busy to devote time and effort to attract users to the great resources available on your library website? If you can simply copy and paste, think again! With no coding skills you can set up your websites to continually display fresh content.

This is no scam. The web is getting easier to use. Once upon a time, Google laid out a framework for displaying custom Google Maps (http://maps.google.com) on private webpages. Pioneering web workers had to register for a Google Maps API and hand code XML to make the map display as they wanted. Now, however, that struggle is long over, because they’ve made the process much easier. All you need to do is copy, paste, and relax. In this article you’ll learn how to embed Google Maps on your website, along with a few other widgets.

6 thoughts on “Widgets and Widgetry for Librarians: Copy, Paste, and Relax”

  1. Great article Aaron.
    Have you ever run into a dictionary widget that can be embedded in a Flash file? I am building a research tutorial for ESL students and think it would be great if they could look up words on-the-fly.

  2. @Jenn-

    Cool idea! I don’t have an exact answer off the top of my head. The closest thing i know about it this widget called Babylon Box which can be used in NetVibes, iGoogle and other places. Maybe it is close enough!

  3. Yes!

    and… wouldn’t it be great if library vendors offered their wares in widget format? Like the free worldcat.org widgets, but customizable (and maybe proxifiable for off-campus users)? EBSCO, I’m looking at you! (esp. since they seem to read your blog …)

    I blogged about this a while back (http://cogscilibrarian.blogspot.com/search?q=widget) and got some interesting feedback from the University of Texas (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/tools/)

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