Steal this code!

February 2009, I had written a blog post, geared to my local users, that had the code to put widgets for the library catalog into their Pageflakes or iGoogle portal pages. Denis Galvin, our wonderful IT guy, had written it because I needed some cool local bells and whistles for an assignment for a physics class. The ISTL article comes out next week, coauthored by Michael Fosmire.

I was thrilled to read Steal this code! Please! Creating HTML widget generators for libraries, in this month’s College & Research Libraries by Nina McHale.  Twitter: @ninermac Brilliant!

I love it when someone connects the dots. Yes, create the widgets, create the code–and then…put it out there–we do not know what users will want to do with it–why limit them to our vision of the world. Let them create their own. McHale shows us how to create our own HTML generator.

McHale states, “following the steps in this article and creating a simple “Steal This Code!” Web page, academic librarians can provide platform-independent widget generators that teaching faculty can use to inject library content directly into their online course materials. Creating a widget-generating resource by using the HTML <textarea> tag is a low-tech, easy, and fun way to extend the reach of library resources beyond the environments that we control.

I am feeling very happy to be in a world with McHale today–a leader in library thought that teaches, shares, and reveals to others how to create tools to serve user needs.


About effervescentlibrarian

UX Librarian at Rice University, Houston, Texas.
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