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What's a widget, and do you want one for Swine Flu?

A widget won't cure swine flu, but it might help your library distribute information about the H1N1 virus.

In tech-speak, a widget is a small piece of code that can be installed on almost any web page. Widgets are frequently used for "badges" (small graphics with a link to show support for something, typically a product) or tools that perform a single function (like current weather, stock tickers, or a countdown clock).

Two widgets are currently available to distribute information about swine flu. If this is a priority for your library, check out these widgets to see if you would like to have them installed on one of your library's web pages.

Gale Swine Flu (H1N1) Widget (get more info on the Gale widget)
Available until June 5, 2009. Gale is giving free access to selected eBooks in Gale Virtual Reference Library and the newly created Swine Flu Portal in Global Issues in Context, via this widget:

If you want to use this Gale widget on your library's website, contact Rose Ziech.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Flu Widget (get more info on the HHS widget)
HHS has widgets pertaining to H1N1 flu, in two sizes and both Spanish and English.  The widgets link to  information from sources like the Center for Disease Control and PandemicFlu.gov.  Here is an example of the smaller English version of the widget:

If you want to use one of the HHS widgets on your library's website and you use Contribute, contact Rose Ziech.  (Dreamweaver users can copy the widget code to install this widget directly to a web page, or contact Rose Ziech for assistance.)


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Hi Rose, do you have good source for Library Widgets? I have been looking for something to help MPL N go squinky for a while. Thanks!

I haven't found a central widget distributor -- usually a vendor or service provides the widget code from its own website (sometimes with customization options). A web search for the service name + "widget" will usually turn up something useful.

Some examples I've seen on library websites are widgets for MeeboMe, Google Maps (or Calendar), LibraryThing, Flickr, SlideShare, Twitter, and YouTube/other video sites. Several database vendors are also creating widgets, similar to Gale's.

So the answer is, it usually depends on what kind of widget-content you want to provide. Does that answer your question?

Yup, thanks!

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