LibX IE: An Internet Explorer Add-On for Direct Library Access


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Virginia Tech


Increasingly, students choose to use general search engines for research rather than taking advantage of the resources provided by university libraries. As university libraries offer services such as the careful selection of material and subscriptions to peer-reviewed journals, it is important that the library become integrated into research workflows. Existing technologies on library servers do not provide the level of integration we believe is most helpful to users.

LibX is a browser add-on designed to assist research by making library resources more accessible than they are through the library's own tools. It provides a client-side interface to these library services through the web browser. This integration enhances productivity and augments the user's existing information-seeking behavior.

We extended the existing Firefox version of LibX into a browser-agnostic framework, allowing LibX services to be provided on multiple browser platforms. We created a toolbar and context menu system, written in C#, to extend the existing LibX features to the Internet Explorer web browser. The primary focus of this work is on the software engineering challenges presented in creating this version.

We also designed a new framework for web localization, allowing pages viewed by the user to be modified on the client side by rules written by LibX developers, library staff, or individual users. The framework also provides a way for these rules to be distributed, updated, and composed, enhancing the browsing experience by augmenting it with additional information. The design and behavior of this framework is a secondary focus of this work.



Internet Explorer, library, toolbar, LibX