The Shifted Librarian -

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* Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Serving Your Users in their Offices

There’s a lot of “places” where your library could shift to meet your users in their space. Here’s another one from the brilliant mind of John Wohlers, he of the library FireFox search extension.

Microsoft® Office 2003 Research Pane

“The Todd library now offers the ability to search our library catalog directly from within most Microsoft Office 2003 applications. To activate this new feature you will need to install our Research Service….

To use the service you will need to access the research pane in a Microsoft Office 2003 application. First select the ‘Task Pane’ option from the ‘View’ menu. Once the task pane is displayed you will need to switch to the Research pane by selecting the drop-down at the top of the task pane. After you have switched to the Research pane you will need to select ‘Todd Library: Online Catalog’ from the drop-down box located below the search box. You may now perform keyword searches of the Todd Library Online catalog any time from your Office 2003 Application.”

Emphasis above is mine because that’s what I’m talking about! I even mentioned this exact type of product at last year’s Illinois Library Association conference as the type of web service libraries need to be moving towards. And maybe we can all move there a little faster, because John noted the following in an email to me:

“This service will ONLY work on windows computers with Microsoft Office 2003 installed.  There does not seem to be a comparable feature in the Macintosh office suite.
Once I do more a little more clean up (yes I'm a messy coder...)   I will most likely make the source code available to the world via a project on source forge.  It is my hope that in doing so others will be able to contribute to this project and make it something the library world as a whole can be proud of.”

Suh-weet! Now if I just had a copy of Office 2003 so I could see this in action for myself….  ;-)

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Tracked on June 23, 2005 04:10 PM