Marketing for Libraries Logo

Web-based Technology: Widgets

Learning Objectives
• Define widgets.
• Identify examples of widgets in library settings.
• Describe the process of embedding a widget in a web page.

Widgets (sometimes known as gadgets) are self-contained, mini-applications.

These mini apps can be downloaded and run on your desktop or embedded on your web page.

If you maintain a blog or participate in a social network, you've probably seen widgets at work displaying the current weather, showing a world map of users, or offering a game of Suduko.

Widgets can easily be placed in any most pages. There are many ways to use widgets. For instance, you might add the Shelfari Widget widget shown the the right. This widget shows books.

Widgets are often APIs that allow web developers to access data from a website.

Widgets in the Library

harvestMany libraries add widgets to their website and blogs.

Two popular book widgets are from GoodReads Widget and LibraryThing.

There are many sources of widgets. If you find a widget you like, look for a link to the developer's website. They will generally describe the terms of use and provide the code.

Many websites provide the source code for their widgets. For instance, The Weather Channel has a weather widget you can put on your web page or blog.

Wolfram/Alpha has lots of cool widgets on topics from mathematics and history to education.

Keep in mind that some widgets are associated with particular websites or software applications. For instance, you may not be able to use a Facebook widget in another website.

Try It!
Go to the WorldCat Web Services and explore their widgets.

Embedding Widgets

To use a widget, look for the HTML code that has been provided with the mini app. This code can be copied and pasted in your website, blog, or social network.

If you're a YouTube user, you've probably seen this code before. It’s referred to as the embed code.

If you can't find the widget you seek, try doing a web search for a topic and add the word widget such as "weather widget".

set

Conclusion

Widgets (sometimes known as gadgets) are self-contained, mini-applications.

These mini apps can be downloaded and run on your desktop or embedded on your web page.

Many library websites contain widgets.

 


| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Contact Us | 2014 Annette Lamb (Adapted from earlier s401 materials)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.