Google Co-op @ your library

There have been a few Custom Search Engines made lately using Google Co-op. Let’s look at a few of them. I did searches for librarians, im, and jessamyn.

LISZEN — library blog search engine. Sexy wiki title list. Works like Google, looks like Google, keeps my settings from Google so I see results in sets of 50, nice! Actually, something weird is happening. If I search for a word like librarians, I only get the top 10 results, Google’s standard results. If I add a refinement by clicking on a link, then I get results 1-50 which includes my custom number of search results. However, there is something weird about the set-up, I can’t see any results after the top ten or so, the rest disappear into what I assume is an I-FRAME and I can’t get to the next page of results or see the nav at the bottom that would take me to the other results. Big trouble. Results seem to be sorted by currency instead of relevance. Results are also returned under the attractive, but large header which means you’re going to do a bit of scrolling. The results refinement is a little clunky. Limiting to “special libraries” just adds the string “more:special_libraries” to the query string, and I also got weird results limiting to academic libraries. The refinements are all just set up like radio buttons so you can only use one of the refinements and the interface is a little counterintuitive. I like the set of blogs represented.

Librarian’s E-Library from ALA, or “Vetted resources on Libraries and Librarianship from the American Library Association (ALA) Library” — I think every time we call something an e-something it’s subtly implying that the normal version of that thing is not electronic. So when we say ebook we are saying if it’s electronic, it’s not a normal book. I think this is wrong thinking perhaps. Their interface is nowhere near as sexy as LISZEN’s but it does seem like they are trying to add some neat widgets like a list of some representative sites and other contributors. The results list is clean, looks just like Google’s with a little touch of red to remind you that you’re searching ALA’s version. Results seem to be sorted by relevance. I didn’t see any blogs represented except for official type blogs, so the results here complement LISZEN’s fairly well.

A few others I saw in the line-up include the ARL Libraries Search, Phil Bradley’s Librarian Weblogs and the Library 2.0 Feed Search

4 thoughts on “Google Co-op @ your library

  1. Thanks for the honest review of LISZEN. I would like to note that the refinements are not yet (shall I say) refined. I set up the categories to allow myself the ability to slowly tag individual, academic, and special libraries. This process will be my main objective over the winter break. Also, prepare for the number of blogs searched to increase come January.

    I’ve been considering reducing the size of the logo and you are the first to bring up the extra height. Most of the testing done on LISZEN has been in a 1280×1024 resolution environment, but I’ve noticed the same problem for lower screen resolutions. I will change the logo with to be comparable to Google’s in the coming weeks.

    Last, I am unable to replicate the “next results disappearing.” Could you please elaborate as to the browser you are using and possibly provide a screenshot? If so, I can be reached at garretth [at] hotmail [dot] com.

  2. Hi Jessamyn,
    I’ve started, along with my wife, Diana Spaulding (who is a school librarian) an exmperimental site showing various custom google searches designed to be useful to school librarians trying to help with assignments. Could also be useful for public librarians, like me.
    Thanks for the post on this topic!
    –David Dodd

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