A Firefox Search Plugin for the Ottawa Public Library

The Ottawa Public Library has a very neat service where you can look up a book online, request it to be delivered to whichever branch is closest to you, and be notified by email when your the chosen tome is available for pickup. If a book is already checked out, you can simply request the next available copy to be delivered.


Seeing how I do quite a bit of reading these days, I set about creating a Firefox search plugin to easily search their catalog. In truth, I just wanted a quick way of looking up a book in the library catalog when I'm on Amazon.ca or I read a book recommendation on a blog.

Installing this search plugin

  1. Navigate to your Firefox profile directory (%APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\whatever).
  2. If it's not already created, create a new folder called "searchplugins" (without the quotes).
  3. Copy this file (ottawa_public_library.xml) to the searchplugins folder, then restart Firefox.


It's dead simple. Open the search engines drop down menu and choose the new "Ottawa Public Library" option:


Now type in keywords from the book's title and hit enter:


This plugin does a search using the "Keywords in TITLE" option, as I thought that was the most useful. Hope you find this useful! Tell your geeky friends!

Edit: ah yes, I forgot to say, the XML file includes a copy of the library's logo, taken from their favicon.ico file. I haven't asked the city of Ottawa for permission to redistribute the icon, but I'm quasi-certain it wouldn't cause a problem. If I get complaints I'll put a new icon in there.

Another update: There's been some interest in this, so here's an easier way to install: Click here to install the Firefox search plugin for the Ottawa Public Library

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