Monday, 11 July 2011

Week 4, Extra Thing: Using the Library Widget

So many libraries, so many books. How do you keep track of them all? Newton very helpfully sends out emails before (and after!) your books are due but it's good to have some additional reminders to stop those fines from mounting up.

The nice people at the UL have created the Cambridge Libraries Widget to make it easy to keep track of all your loans. You can embed the whole widget into your iGoogle page, Facebook, CamTools or into any webpage (perhaps your library's?). It gives you a Newton search window and the ability to manage your loans, renewals and requests.

Embedding the widget into your iGoogle page is as simple as pressing a button on the Widget page.

But seeing your loans still means logging into the Widget. It might be more helpful to have them inserted directly into Google Reader or your Google Calendar which you'll probably look at more regularly.

How to view your loans in Google Reader

1. Make sure you're logged into Google.

2. Log into the Library Widget. You can find it embedded in many DepFac and College library webpages. For example, go to the English Faculty Library webpage. Click on the tab on the righthand side called 'Library Accounts and Renewals' and log in.

3. Choose the Feeds tab and click on the first link 'RSS loans feed'. It will offer you the option of adding the loans feed to your iGoogle homepage or to your Google Reader.

How to view your loans in Google Calendar

1. Open your Google Calendar.

2. Log into the Library Widget (as instructed above).

3. Choose the Feeds tab and right-click on the second link 'iCal Calendar Feed'. Choose 'Copy link location'.

4. Go to your Google Calendar and open the 'Other calendars' section on the lefthand side. Click 'Add' and choose 'Add by URL'. Paste the iCal link in the box and press 'Add Calendar'.

5. You can use the 'Settings' feature under 'Other calendars' to rename or otherwise customise your calendar.

Extra Extra Thing

Take a look at the Libraries@Cambridge calendar which brings together all manner of library calendars. You can copy feeds or individual events from it to your own calendar.