February 1, 2008

Undeadening the Dead Ends

We know that enter­pris­ing libraries such as The Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary, McMas­ter Uni­ver­sity, Topeka Shawnee County Pub­lic Library, and Bay­lor Uni­ver­sity have imple­mented Mee­boMe wid­gets at the dead ends of their cat­a­logs. I’m won­der­ing if any libraries have gone fur­ther to add this type of func­tion­al­ity to the “sorry, no search results” pages in the data­bases they pay for or on the 404 error pages on their web­sites, blogs, etc.?

The lat­ter could be under our con­trol (for many libraries, not all), but is there even a ven­dor out there that lets libraries cus­tomize the dead end mes­sages? If you know of one, please let me know in the comments!

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1:16 pm Comments (9)


  1. […] of Texas Undead­en­ing the Dead Ends » This Sum­mary is from an arti­cle posted at The Shifted Librar­ian on Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 01, 2008 […]

    Pingback by University Update - Baylor University - Undeadening the Dead Ends — February 1, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

  2. I’ve been think­ing a lot about this recently too, I think the Meebo Me wid­gets are a fan­tas­tic addi­tion to the OPAC and some­thing I hope we begin to see more of.

    I read an inter­est­ing arti­cle recently about Ama­zon who have man­aged to patent an error page with use­ful sug­ges­tions: http://mashable.com/2008/01/30/amazon-patent-error-pages/. I don’t know what exactly the patent cov­ers and whether this will have impli­ca­tions for oth­ers want­ing to use a sim­i­lar fea­ture, I cer­tainly hope not!

    Comment by Jo Alcock — February 2, 2008 @ 9:02 am

  3. Here’s my attempted at undead­ing our dead-end pages. Our web­site 404 page was easy, since we have com­plete con­trol over that. But my library’s cat­a­log “not found” page was more chal­leng­ing, since we’re part of a con­sor­tium and change is a slow and often fruit­less process. So, I took the grease­mon­key route and embed­ded an “email a librar­ian” form (no IM for us) as well as a login to search the state-wide cat­a­log beyond our con­sor­tium. This screen­cap­ture shows what it looks like, and so is the grease­mon­key script for any­one interested.

    Comment by herzogbr — February 2, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

  4. This is the first time I have heard of this. How insanely cool!!

    Comment by Leah — February 3, 2008 @ 9:31 am

  5. I heard aof this the first time but it is really real

    Comment by Gartenmoebel — February 3, 2008 @ 10:36 am

  6. We have sev­eral places that could work to help the ‘dead end’ sit­u­a­tion in EBSCO­host: We allow libraries to ‘brand’ basi­cally every page. We also have an ‘Ask-A-Librarian’ fea­ture that could be helpful…

    What we don’t do, though, is to allow Libraries to cus­tomize the “No Results found” mes­sage. We’ll con­sider how we can com­bine these capa­bil­i­ties… thanks for the idea Jenny!


    Comment by Mike Gorrell — February 5, 2008 @ 7:21 am

  7. […] response to my post about IM wid­gets at dead ends, Brian Her­zog offers a great exam­ple of using a grease­mon­key script to pro­vide an email door out of […]

    Pingback by The Shifted Librarian » More Undead Ends — February 12, 2008 @ 6:42 am

  8. […] response to my post about IM wid­gets at dead ends, Brian Her­zog offers a great exam­ple of using a grease­mon­key script to pro­vide an email door out of […]

    Pingback by News » More Undead Ends — February 22, 2008 @ 11:41 pm

  9. […] Option in Online Cat­a­log Jenny Levine at The Shifted Librar­ian posted about libraries that are start­ing to use instant mes­sag­ing within their cat­a­logs.  When the patron is struck, it can pro­vide an option to work with a real per­son.  The Meebo Me […]

    Pingback by IM Option in Online Catalog « Library Technology in Texas — March 28, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

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