12 April 2008

Using Addons in Firefox to Expedite Online Searching

The WorldCAT blog featured an interesting video on making use of Firefox extensions to enhance online searching functions.

A particularly interesting nugget, for me, was the mention of the "Add to Search Bar" add-on available from--where else?--the Firefox Add-ons page.

The Add to Search Bar add-on allows you to add the search function of any page into the search bar within the Firefox browser, all with just a right-click:

I have played with this little add-on for the past week with mixed success. It was impossible to get my local library's search function to work properly, but I was able to add and use the search function from another local library just fine. I was also unable to get the search to function properly for the FHL catalog.

I played around with adding a search of ancestry.com using a keyword search, and had some limited success... Same with using the interment.net search... results were just a little too broad, and having to go back and delimit searches or refine them sort of lessens the usefulness of this add-on for such large sites with various datasets.

The add-on does work brilliantly for straightforward searches of limited datasets. Searching for a title in your local library without having to navigate to the library's catalog page is surely a top-notch application here. I'm sure there would be other applications for this add-on as well... is anyone else using this add-on in a particular way?

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