Wednesday, March 22, 2006

(Yet Another) Browser Toolbar?

Every major search company has their own browser toolbar that leads the user to additional resources and services within that brand.

In another post I commented that information access issues were perhaps the result of the way people are now using the web. People are using many more tools today and the concept of going to a library "home" page is becoming antiquated. So, how do you get users to the resources that may not want to go to the library web site?

About a year ago I proposed to our staff the idea of a library toobar that provides quick access to library resources. Completing priorities prevented further exploration. Well, today I created one for our library - in about 60 minutes.

In my web wandering I came across a free community toolbar creator offered by Effective Brand. This tool has been used to create toolbars at libraries including the Harris County (Texas)Public and Lansing (IL)Public .

A browser toolbar focused on library resources allows the library to push library resources and web contact access points to users as they are our browsing elsewhere. It saves the users time (Ranganathan would be proud) by not having to drill down through their favorite's list or shortcut bar. Since the bar's content can be updated automatically, any changes are automatically pushed out. The user can select to use all the toolbar items or only some of them.

The creation tool itself is very simple to use and requires no real skill other than knowing how to cut and paste. I had no problems except for some reason I had to leave the News Search item available or the eight default search options would magically reappear. Sphere: Related Content

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