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Firefox Add-ons for Librarians and Library Users

Firefox is one of my favourite software applications. It is a web browser like Internet Explorer. It is from Mozilla Application Suite, managed by the Mozilla Corporation. It uses open source Gecko layout engine and is compliant to current web standards. It is available for free for most operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Its version 3.0 has been released recently on 17th June 2008, the day hyped as "Download Day 2008". It is a feature rich application, however I like its add-ons capability the most. There are around 2,000 add-ons (plug-ins) available to extend its functionality. Most of these add-ons are from third party developers.

Out of these 2,000 add-ons or Plug-ins, there are few which are useful for librarians and library users. You may like to see “100 Essential Firefox Add-Ons for Librarians” by Jessica Merritt. There are some more lists of add-ons by librarians. Like the one of Teri Vogel - My Favorite Firefox Extensions and he one by Jessamyn West - Pimp My Firefox. However I don’t feel all these add-ons are just for librarians alone. Most of these are good for even non-librarians. However, there are few, which are special for librarians. LibX is one such plug-in. Libraries can create their own edition of LibX to provide to access to their resource catalogues through LibX add-on. Around 422 academic and public libraries have already done so. Another interesting Plug-in is Zotero. It is an easy-to-use Firefox extension to help collection, management and cite Internet sources. There is a nice tutorial available for using LibX and Zotero in combination.

Firefox also has a built-in search box on the Navigation Toolbar, which has a drop-down box showing the available searches. These are created using search plug-ins. Search plug-ins are simple text files which are installed by adding them to the Mozilla Firefox searchplugins folder. Such a search plugin can be created for a library.

Librarians could experiment with thousands of available add-ons. Few months back I had advised a librarian to use an add-on for display a ticker for RSS feeds of current News.

There are many more add-ons waiting for getting used by librarians and library users.

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