The LibX Edition Builder

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Virginia Tech

LibX is a browser plugin that allows users to access library resources directly from their browser. Many libraries that wished to adopt LibX needed to customize a version of LibX for their own institution. Most librarians did not possess the necessary knowledge of XML, running scripts and the underlying implementation of LibX required to create customized, functional LibX versions for their own institutions. Therefore, we have developed a web-based tool called the LibX Edition Builder that empowers librarians to create their own customized LibX version (editions), effortlessly.

The Edition Builder provides rich interactivity to its users by exploiting the ZK AJAX framework whose components we adapted. The Edition Builder provides automatic detection of relevant library resources based on several heuristics which we have developed, which reduces the time and effort required to configure these resources.

We have used sound software engineering techniques such as agile development principles, code generation techniques, and the model-view-controller design paradigm to maximize maintainability of the Edition Builder, which enables us to easily incorporate changing functional requirements in the Edition Builder.

The LibX Edition Builder is currently used by over 800 registered users who have created over 400 editions. We have carried out a custom log-based usability evaluation that examined the interactions of our users over a 5 month period. This evaluation has shown that the Edition Builder can dramatically reduce the time needed to customize LibX editions and is being increasingly adopted by the library community.

LibX, Code generation, Log-based usability evaluation, AJAX