I love widgets. Last week at the Charleston Conference I was on a panel discussing “bridging the google gap.” I was to discuss ways libraries were bridging that gap through reference services. Widgets was one of my answers.
Widgets can be embedded on multiple library web pages, course management systems, facebook, teacher/faculty websites, anywhere really! Caution, my web designer friends always remind me to have one ONE search box on a page, otherwise it gets confusing.
There are many eBook/eReference vendors who provide widgets. I’ve got links to some of them below. If you know of others, send them my way and I’ll post.
Credo Reference – Search the entire Credo collection with their widget. Some libraries have put the search widget on a reference page, as a starting point. Now that Credo links to other sources through their “resource links” feature, users can start with traditional reference sources and move to journals or other databases of your choosing. For a look at this feature, check out the Watne Memorial Library . You might also be interested in an informal review of the new Credo interface.
Gale/Cengage – GVRL in particular. I am fond of this widget because you can establish subject collections of sets of titles. Once you have the collection established, it can be placed in the widget and only those titles searched. This is a fab idea for subject guides/pathfinders, or for class assignment links.
Reference Universe – RU searches the indexes, TOC, and list of articles of both print and electronic reference titles. Using your online catalog, they will connect the user to a reference source. The widget opens up your entire reference collection. St. Mary’s College of California has a great example of this widget. Be sure to click on “reference.”