Google Gadgets & Library Search

Last year I fiddled around with creating some simple Google Gadgets for the catalogs of my local library systems. Mostly to figure out how to create them, but also because I’m lazy. I wanted easy access to all my local library catalogs in one place, on an iGoogle page.

I haven’t looked at editing gadgets since then, so I was excited to learn  that it’s much easier to make gadgets now. Sometime during the year, Google added a nifty gadget to help create gadgets. That sounds confusing, but it’s just another little iGoogle tool that helps you edit, preview and launch your own gadgets. This tutorial helped explain how to use it.

So, while looking at other library catalog search gadgets tonight, I wondered if I could ‘borrow’ code to make something slicker than my original clunky gadgets. I found Andrew Schulz from Pierce County (WA) Library System had a very elegant gadget for their Polaris catalog. A quick copy of the code and editing of the catalog URL and it was working for my local library. Woohoo!

Any recommendations on good models for other systems?

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