The Library Lab

Wondering what wild and wonderful tech projects we're working on? You're in the right place! The Library Lab is our technology sandbox where we feature the resources and services we're developing that are nearing production or in beta testing. Subscribe to the RSS Feed for this page to stay in the loop. And if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment on any of the posts below or send us a message.



LibX Toolbar

LibX is a Firefox and Internet Explorer extension that provides direct access to McMaster University Libraries' resources from wherever you are on the web.

For more information visit

The LibX McMaster University Libraries edition has been updated to work with our current catalogue. Please note that the toolbar for Internet Explorer does not function properly in Internet Explorer 8.  Therefore, it is recommended that you install the Firefox plug-in instead.

If you install the libx toolbar, let us know what you think. Add a comment to this post or send us a message


Off-campus Access Bookmarklet

If you try to access an e-Resource from the library website, you're usually prompted to login to Off-campus Access with your MAC ID. However, sometimes you might follow a link to one of our subscribed e-Resources from somewhere other than the library website (like an email message or another webpage), and because you didn't start at the Library website, you are not recognized as a subscriber.

Enter the Off-campus Access bookmarklet! It's a script or short program you can add to your browser that allows you to quickly authenticate yourself as a McMaster user and access content that requires a subscription.

Installing the Bookmarklet

  • Firefox users: right-click this link 'Off-campus Access Bookmarklet' and select 'Bookmark This Link...'. Alternatively, click and drag the link to your 'Bookmarks' toolbar.
  • Internet Explorer users: right-click this link 'Off-campus Access Bookmarklet' and select 'Add to Favourites'. Alternatively, click and drag the link to your 'Links' toolbar. You may be prompted with a security alert warning you that the link may not be safe. It is fine to click 'yes' to continue.
  • Safari users: right-click this link 'Off-campus Access Bookmarklet' and select 'Copy link'. Bookmark this page by selecting 'Add Bookmark' from the Bookmarks menu. Go to where you saved this bookmark (e.g. Bookmarks Bar) and right-click the bookmark. Select 'Edit Address'. In the Address section, right-click and select 'Paste' to paste the bookmarklet code.
  • Chrome users: drag this link 'Off-campus Access Bookmarklet' to the bookmarks bar. If the bookmarks bar is not displaying, press Ctrl-Shift-B.

Using the Bookmarklet

When you click on a link to an e-Resource from any page on the library website, you are asked to login to Off-campus Access (with your MAC ID) to gain access to that subscribed resource. However, we recognize that not all searches begin at the library website! Sometimes, you might find a link to an e-Resource through a Google search or in an email from your favourite database or e-Journal provider. This is when the Off-campus Access Bookmarklet becomes useful! Here's how you can use it in such instances:

  • click the link as normal
  • once the page loads, click the Off-campus Access Bookmarklet in your Favourites/Bookmarks
  • the bookmarklet will direct you to the Off-campus Access login page where you can login with your MAC ID
  • after you click the 'Log in' button, you will be redirected back to the resource page, but the website will now recognize you as a McMaster user.

Usage Notes'

  • The Off-campus Access Bookmarklet should work with most browsers as long as JavaScript is enabled.
  • Once you have added the Off-campus Access bookmarklet to your browser, you should be able to gain access to restricted resources at the click of a button. In some cases you may need to use the browser's 'Back' button to return to the resource URL, not the vendor's login/error page.
  • The Off-campus Access Bookmarklet only provides access to those electronic resources we have subscribed to. If you follow a link to a resource that McMaster has not subscribed to, the Off-campus Access Bookmarklet will not provide you with access to that resource!

If you install the bookmarklet, let us know what you think.  Send us a message.