Screencast explaining LibX


I’ve made a screencast about what LibX does. It is here: What does LibX do?

A work colleague and I adapted a version for Murdoch University Library and I made this screencast to show staff what it does. If you want to play with LibX, you can download and install our copy here LibX (Murdoch University Library). It is still an experimental version- right now we are testing it for a month or so and trying to break it. If you do play with it, I’d appreciate feedback. Thanks to Matthias for some handholding while we made it.


LibX is a Firefox extension, which means that it can change the way your browser looks and displays information. It lets you access library resources without being on the any of the library’s home pages. It was developed at Virginia Tech and anyone can adapt a version for their library using the “do-it yourself” edition builder. Some of the voodoo magic it does is:

1. Puts a library search box into your browser

2. Hotlinks any ISBN displayed in a browser so that clicking it searches your library catalogue

3. Inserts SFX links into web pages so users can click on articles from places like Wikipedia, or books from Amazon, and see whether a library has a work.

4. Lets you authenticate to access a journal article by right clicking on the page and reloading it – rather than going through the library pages.

11 thoughts on “Screencast explaining LibX

  1. Did you get the IE version to work. I don’t know what is wrong with ours, but once we install the IE toolbar it just keeps reporting error messages. And we have soooo many IE users.

  2. IE version is working OK for me, but I only use IE for webmail.

    Downloaded it this morning bcs our IE tester had probs downloading it and I wanted to see whether I could. I have noticed that ISBNs aren’t underlined and hotlinked – but if you highlight them and right click, then you get option to do ISBN search.

    Love to know about your experience with it.

  3. Thanks Michelle. I’d be interested to know how it goes, as I’m not sure whether it is easy to change existing habits and alter workflow to fit in with LibX – even though it is quite magical.

  4. Kathryn, this is such a great! I just created one for our library, and I’m loving it. The hardest part was figuring out the rather bizarre tabbed building interface and then where to find the button to put it all together. After that, it was ridiculously easy.

    I already do a lot of ctrl-k’ing to get to the search bar, so this will be just an additional step of pressing the tab key to get to the catalog search box. I don’t think it will be take long to adapt.

    I haven’t been able to get the IE version to install at all either.

  5. Meg/ Peta …I suspect the IE problem is to do with the version of .NET on the PC. I have minimal understanding of what it does (apart from being some kind of Microsoft Platform), but when I double checked some files that hadn’t installed on someone’s PC, clicking on one of the .exe files told me that I needed a higher version of .NET

  6. We’re beta-testing LibX IE. If we don’t hear your problems, we can’t fix them. Please use the “help me with” button in the builder interface or send us email.

    Kathryn is right, you do need .Net 2.0 or later on your machine.

  7. Does anyone know if this is IE6 or IE7 related?

    I’m going through the same problem mentioned above, where the LibX install doesn’t proceed because of required files being downloaded from Microsoft.

    We tried unpacking some of the DLLs (application extensions), and that didn’t work…

    Maybe what’s required is an alternative install, which copies all the files to the correct folder, and runs the file “Register.bat”?

    We also have a mostly IE crowd (IE is about 67% of the market, so we’re not alone). Firefox installs for add-ons is so much easier… [sigh]

  8. Thanks Tom. I really like your page of instructions for your users and will be stealing some of the format when we do ours. I think you are right that is is best for it to work for IE as well.

    Coincidentally, someone from another uni emailed me about LibX this morning and I could point her to your excellent comments here. That’s real sharing.

What do you think? Let us know.