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WorldCat: From Local to Social: Home

A resource guide about how library users can use the social tools that are available in WSU WorldCat to organize, annotate, and share resources.

This Guide...

WorldCat provides users with the ability to interact with its contents, organize useful resources, and share them with others through a variety of online social tools. This guide will show you how you can use WorldCat (whether its your college library catalog or the public-for-everyone to create and use these tools.

More info about WorldCat:

If you have questions, please email me (  or contact me on Twitter (wsulorena). I love these tools for library users!

-- Lorena O'English   (7/2011)

The Making of the Discovery Days Book List Widget

It's easy to make a cute WorldCat widget like the one to the right that you can slap on a webpage, blog, Facebook profile or .... Here are the steps (you may also want to check out WorldCat's Widgets and Tools for Everyone page):

1. Find or create a WorldCat list you want to create a widget for (this process will also work for keyword(s) search widgets). Our example is my Discovery Days Book Shoutout list . Note if you look at the complete URL (see the link for View Complete List) the list number is 1919758. I created my list while I was logged in to my WorldCat account but that is not necessary; also you can make a widget for any WorldCat list. Lists are not limited to books - they can include articles, videos, etc.

2. Go to If you are logged in to your WorldCat account, or if you are accessing WorldCat from your campus network, you may be asked if you want to choose your WorldCat Local instance, or Select Stay on!

3. Look under Use WorldCat Tools, and select the link for Widgets and Plug-ins. You will then be asked to log in with your WorldCat account (even if you are already logged in). Select the WorldCat List Widget option under Widgets and Tools for Everyone.

4. You will see some code that you can copy and paste in to a webpage, blog, LibGuide, Facebook or whatever. The code will have to be customized - first to work with the list you have chosen, and second to have the links go to your university/college's version of WorldCat Local, instead of the generic This is very important so that you are directed to your own WorldCat catalog, and can take advantage of all its coolness.  

5. Inside the string of code you will see something that looks like this =WSU_loenglish&widgetId=WorldCatListWidget&listId=**listId**">" (except with your WorldCat profile user name). This is the part that will need to be customized:

a. change the **listId** to your list number, in this case 1919758 (without the asterisks)

b. after the list number, and before the end quotation mark and bracket, type in: &myLocal=washingtonstate or whatever the name of your WorldCat Local catalog is (i.e. uwashington or uidaho ).

Now that part of the code will look like this: =WSU_loenglish&widgetId=WorldCatListWidget&listId=1919758&myLocal=washingtonstate">

6. You are done! You may need to refresh your screen once or twice for the code to, codify. You will see that although you may have any number of items saved to your list, the widget will only show the first eight (and not all of the titles) but will link to the complete list on your library's WorldCat. I've heard that you can use the WorldCat API (see API tab on this guide) to have more items show, but have not actually done that myself. Note: in general, you should not use more than one WorldCat widget on a web page - the widgets can get muddled if you have more than one.You may also need to fiddle with margins/horizontal to make the widget fit the space you want to embed it on.

7. Remember you can create a embeddable keyword search widget too - it can be for a keyword, multiple keywords, or a phrase. You can even create an empty widget that you can just use for general searching (although if you're gonna do that, why not create an embeddable searchbox widget - see the Creating Widgets and Searchboxes tab).


List Widget: Discovery Days Book Shoutout List (see box to left to learn how to make your own)

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