Jason A. Clark, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Montana State University Libraries
Tim Donahue, Instruction and Outreach Librarian, Montana State University
As web content continues to grow and the signal-to-noise ratio increases, it has become important for libraries to find ways to get into users’ common web paths: the social networking sites such as Facebook, the web portals such as iGoogle, even learning management systems such as Blackboard. Clark looks at creating widgets or gadgets that allow users to have basic library search functions in these new user environments free from the catalog or library website. He shows live applications that provide different search functionality for library materials: a Google Gadget that allows gateway searching for library journals, books, and articles and a series of OpenSearch plug-ins that let patrons search library content from within the web browser. Donahue looks at creating user-activated animated research tools such as Flash-animated subject maps leading users directly to books. He also looks under the hood at the FLA files and design methodology and examines the underutilized applicability of Flash technology for library resources such as digital exhibits, online tutorials, and other types of library maps. Come learn about the simple tools and steps you can take in your library.