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Are widgets the only way to search the library catalog?

Another librarian added a 'links and list' box and pasted in the catalog URL. When I tried the link it doesn't work. Is a widget the best way to incorporate the catalog search into the guide rather the basic text box? It works fine when I use my widget.
Last Updated: Apr 29, 2010  |  1419 Views

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LibGuides gives you three good options for searching the library catalog - you can:

  • Insert the catalog search URL in your system settings page - this will give you a drop-down catalog search option in your site search
  • Once you've inserted the catalog search URL, you can then use our pantheon of widgets
  • You can also create a Library Catalog search box - and if you save it in a template guide, all the librarians at your institution will be able to create linked versions of that box in their individual guides
    • Your library catalog must support "GET" requests for this to work
    • To set this up, it's not as simple as entering a URL - we have instructions available at Essentially what you need to do is build an HTML search form, which isn't always a simple task.
    • Once you've created the form, you would then place it in a Rich Text box type

There are some additional types of links to the catalog you can add - for example, some libraries have included links (in links and lists boxes) that bring a patron to a series title in their catalog.

The thing to remember is, many library catalog vendors include session id information in their URLs - so it's going to be pretty darn rare to be able to copy a URL out of the address bar, paste it in as a link, and have that link work. The best thing to do is to talk with your database vendor to see what support they offer for persistent URLs. Alternately, you can always ask us - while we're not experts on every catalog, we've seen a lot of them in action and can often offer some tips.

Answered by Sarah PawlekBookmark and Share

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