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Wiki Main Page >  Widgets Class


Widgets, Gadgets & Gizmos: embedding library resources in other spaces


Class Description: 

 What's a widget?  Widgets are simply chunks of web code that let you take information from one place and put it somewhere else.


With widgets you can pull book reviews from the NY Times into your web pages, make iConn databases accessible from your town's website or inside your student's iGoogle pages. Or how about creating a widget of your library's new gardening books to put on the local garden clubs website. Use a Google Book widget to give easy access to classic books on a class resoure page. Or put the most recent consumer review articles on your web site.


Widgets help your customers access information more easily, help keep your library websites more up to date with dynamic content and offer a way to place library content on other websites and social networks.


In this session we'll touch on everything from finding existing 'copy & paste' widgets to creating our own widgets.  You'll have time to explore options for creating widgets that relate to your library's services and leave with a bunch of widgets all set for action! 





Easy Copy & Paste Widgets - to get started with first class exercise


Database Widgets


Search widgets

  • SweetSearch - searches over 35,000 Web sites that research experts, librarians and teachers have evaluated and approved. Perfect for subject  pathfinders, classroom resource pages, homework help sites. 
  • Google Custom Search  -  create a search for your website, blog, wiki or for a group of your favorite web sites. Use it to create search boxes for specific topics - this is handy for classroom projects. 
  • Google Scholar Search  
  • WolframAlpha  
  • WorldCat 
  • TeachingBooks - if your school/library has access to this, spread the word and increase use with this easy to add search widget.


Books, News & Reviews 


Curated Collections

Use these curation tools to create your own news stream on any topic.  Include articles, photos, videos and other content from all over the web. The resulting “stories” can be embedded on your web sites and shared through other people’s web sites also. Ideas? A stream of news for your town, ebook updates and news, articles on a hot topic in your library, resources for the local government web site.


Library, Education, Misc.


Photos & Video

  • Flickr badges 
  • YouTube - Embed single videos on your website or create playlists to embed. (Go to your SETTINGS page, look for playlists, select one, then SHARE, EMBED) 
  • CNN Videos - After video starts playing, click on the SHARE button at top right.  
  • embedr - create an attractive widget with video from a variety of web sites. 


Polls, surveys, chat


Other Social Networking Tools


Just Plain Fun

  • Piano Widget 
  • Voki - create a speaking avatar
  • Animoto - Create short videos from your own photos. Great for promoting upcoming events.  
  • SurfNetKids Games, Daily Factoid, etc. 


Google Stuff


Sharing Documents 

  • Scrib –  Docs are searchable and viewable on Scribd, also indexed by search engines for even broader ‘findability’. Others can share your docs them if you let them. Scribd has lots of social features built in. Embedding: easy to create an embed code with a variety of formatting options  Includes use stats.  Includes option to create collections of docs and has special Collection Widget.
  • Slideshare – Started out as a place to share slide decks. Now also supports PDF’s, docs and other formats. Can add an audio track to slide decks. Easy to embed on other web sites.
  • Issuu
  • Google Docs - Documents and forms created in Google Docs can be embedded on other pages. Also has options for uploading other docs and embedding.



Apps for Facebook Pages

  • Static HTML app from - Use this free app to add a tab with your library's catalog search box to your library's Facebook page. Lets you easily add HTML content.  Other apps from Involver include a coupon app, give your fans a coupon for a library service.


Find even more widgets 


iGoogle Gadgets

  • Create a Google Account - if you don't already have a Google account, set one up.
  • iGoogle
  • Google Gadget Editor - Add this gadget to your iGoogle page to keep the gagdet editor handy.
  • My Gadgets - a handy list of the gadgets you've created, even if they aren't in the public iGoogle Gadget directory.


iGoogle Gadget Examples


Tools to turn RSS feeds into Widgets








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