Library Course Tools

Dynamically generated course-centric views of library resources and services.


The Library Course Tools application dynamically generates student-centric views of library resources and tools for all courses taught at North Carolina State University. Library content is contextualized to the course wherever possible by exploiting existing and new library resource mappings to North Carolina State University course department codes or course numbers. Library Course Tools provides a consolidated view of library offerings that is easily linked to from both library systems and non-library systems such as campus learning management systems.

How We Did It

Library Course Tools is a styled set of "widgets," collected by "RESTful" requests to the Library Widget System, that provide entry-points to library resources and services from a course-centric perspective. These widgets can contain static or dynamic content that use the course identifier to leverage librarian-created knowledge to select content at various levels of customization. All of the widgets have been designed to be as scalable as possible, supporting various levels of manual customization while allowing for more general content when appropriate. This project is implemented using object-oriented PHP, and the front-end design makes use of YUI, jQuery and CSS. Library Course Tools URIs are "RESTful" and intuitive, and the Library Course Tools widgets are easily reusable in other contexts, such as Moodle.