Libguides + Facebook : A new way to do it

I have had  no luck with the regular LibGuides Facebook application.

This may be due to old code on their end, misunderstandings on my end or my insistence on using Chrome.

However, I’ve discovered an alternative to using the regular LibGuides application that allows you a significant amount of flexibility in the way you display your LibGuides content on Facebook.

Start by creating a facebook page for your library.

Once you’ve created the page, search for a ‘Static iFrame’ application. This is the application that we’ll be displaying our LibGuides content in.

I’ve had good luck with the app highlighted in the picture below.

Add the application to your Facebook page, and click on it. you should have a brief editor pane show up.

When you ‘Edit Tab Content’ you get a familiar sight, HTML!

Now, you can develop whatever you want within this framework, but I’ve chosen to use the API utility in LibGuides to display a few boxes from our public Library websites.

To get the code, open a new tab and sign in to LibGuides

  In the API Utility you get to choose what you want to show for each API call you make. I’d suggest using boxes from your system that get the most use, like Search or Browse functions, as well as a LibAnswers widget if you subscribe.

When you generate an API call, you can choose to embed the code using Javascript.

Copy this embed code, and, place it wherever you want within the HTML of the Facebook page.

[Here’s a hint, you can develop the page using any HTML editor you prefer. I set a master div width of 500px and the result was great. I then copied and pasted the HTML back into the facebook page after everything was tweaked the way I wanted it to be.]

And that’s it! Here’s the first draft of our Library Facebook page. Click to open a larger version.

Advertisements

2 Responses

  1. Hi Brett,

    Marc from Springshare here – I am one of the lead developers for the LibGuides product. One of my colleagues forwarded along your post regarding how to embed LibGuides content within Facebook, so I just wanted to stop by to say thank you for your innovative approach to the issue I also wanted to provide some additional information about how LibGuides has worked with Facebook in the past, and what we hope to accomplish in the future. When we first developed our LibGuides applications for Facebook apps we provided three different options for our users:

    LibGuides – a “canvas” based application that allows students and patrons to view their library’s LibGuides content right within Facebook

    LibGuides Library – allows a library to embed a LibGuides browse / search box right on their Facebook Page

    LibGuides Librarian – allows a librarian to embed a LibGuides browse / search box right on their Facebook Profile

    Earlier this year Facebook decided to do away with support for application boxes within Pages and Profiles, and as such the browse / search boxes provided by LibGuides Library and LibGuides Librarian stopped working. As Facebook provided no way to immediately convert an application from the old to the new format, the only option we had available was to take the applications offline as they were being recreated. So that is most likely the reason why you had problems adding LibGuides content to your Pages and Profiles over the last half year or so.

    While it is unfortunate to have to redevelop these applications from scratch, it does provide us with a good opportunity to rethink our approach to displaying content in Facebook. There are many ways we can proceed, but our favorite approach involves creating a single Facebook application that communicates directly with the LibGuides API, allowing each user full control over what LibGuides content is displayed on their Page / Profile. Coincidentally enough that is very similar to the approach you have used here (good job!), but it would not require the use of an intermediate application in order to display the content. That approach is just one of many possible options, but at this point it is the most popular internally and also the most flexible, so it is most likely the approach we will use going forward.

    Springshare has always relied heavily on feedback from our users, so I would like to invite you and your readers to email us at support@springshare.com with suggestions for our redesigned Facebook application. Any and all feedback is welcome – so please feel free to send us your ideas or even questions you may have, as questions often spark discussion that can lead to new features.

    Thanks again for your post and for your support of LibGuides!

  2. […] got a comment on my blog from Marc at Springshare regarding my approach to embedding LibGuides boxes within an iFrame in a Facebook page. He provides […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: