Friday, March 28, 2008


I am having computer difficulties this morning, but wanted to point out some widgets that have a lot of potential. Two were mentioned in an article called Widgets and Widgetry for Librarians, which mentions a number of neat widgets, but either I already use them or don't see much use for them yet.

The first is the Google Calendar, where you can create a calendar and I believe post it on your Web site as a "widget". I see this as being a good tool for us in letting students know when the extra comptuters in the classroom are available, and when the room has been reserved. Of course you could have the librarians post their calendars, but anyone who wants to know that bad is really creepy.

Google Maps also has a widget where you can not only post a map of where your library is, but also it allows you to annotate your maps with pinpoints, lines, and shapes. You could create maps of recommended restaurants and interesting things to do as the library's contribution to parents during summer orientation.

del.ici.ous is a bookmarking social network application. I'm exploring ways of using it as a type of home-made library portal, but haven't done much with it yet. Others are singing its praises, but I don't yet get it. But it also has a widget where you can cutomize a "linkroll" and post that on your Web site. The author of the article suggests a list of "What I've Seen Today." I think this could have potential for our Subject Links Web site pages that are very difficult to maintain without a database behind it.

The author suggests visiting Widgipedia or Widgetbox for more widgets. I love Widgetbox, though haven't necessarily connected what I have found to useful applications. But widgets are making really need functions available to us non-programers that have a little creativity. I have been thinking continuously of other widgets/gadgets to suggest on a Library Resources tab of iGoogle. I think a dictionary, citation creator (perhaps with an its-not-perfect warning), and a countdown clock to when projects are due. Please leave me a note if you can think of other recommendations beyond what I have here.

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