Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Getting Started with the University Libraries’ RSS Feeds

Since late April, the Ball State University Libraries have sponsored several RSS feeds that provide news, events, and listings of academic resource updates for library customers. View the webpage,
Now that you have found an RSS feed to which you want to subscribe, what do you do next?
The first step is to get an RSS reader, which is sometimes called an aggregator. These applications access selected RSS feeds to regularly bring information to you, allowing you to read a variety of content through a single interface.
There are numerous Web and software-based readers available, such as Bloglines, Pluck, Yahoo, and Google. One that I recommend is Bloglines because it is free and easy-to-use. Visit to register for a free account.
After you have set up your Bloglines account, you add feeds as follows:
1. Right-click on the "RSS" or "XML" icon of the feed you want to subscribe to;
2. Select “Copy Shortcut” (Internet Explorer) or “Copy Link Location” (Firefox)
3. In a different browser window, with your Bloglines account open, click on the tab labeled “My Feeds”
4. Select “Add”
5. Paste the copied URL into the box labeled “Blog or Feed URL”
6. Click on “Subscribe”
That’s it! Repeat this process until you’ve added all of the feeds you wish. The next time you open your reader, you will have the headlines, abstracts, and sometimes full text, of all the news you have selected to read.
For more information regarding the University Libraries’ RSS feeds, two available online articles are the following:
Getting Started with RSS Feeds,,42836--,00.html
FAQ about RSS,,42833--,00.html Readers interested in ALA and OCLC blogs and RSS feeds, check out these sites:

For additional information or to make comments or suggestions, contact Daniel W. Hartwig at or by phone at (765) 285-8723.

This article was published in The Library Insider May 2006, pg. 7.


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