A very handy and unfortunately very underused feature in the Libronix Digital Library System is the ability to link to resources from external documents (like Word documents and PDFs) and web pages. This functionality is part of the Power Tools Addin (Tools > Options > Power Tools). If you don’t already have it, you can read about or watch how to download it for free.
Libronix allows for a much better hyperlinking experience than the web does. When you link to a web page, you usually can’t link to a specific location on that page.* For example, if you wanted someone to read a certain portion of Van Til’s “Why I Believe in God” at Reformed.org, you would have to direct him to go to the fourth section, third paragraph, etc. Not horrible, but not ideal.
In Libronix we provide far greater power and specificity in linking. You can link to a variety of different things:
(Note: These links may not work properly in all feed readers. Visit the site to try them out.)
- Book: like the ESV
- Page: like page 25 of The Moody Handbook of Theology
- Topic: like “Trinity” in the New Bible Dictionary or λόγος in BDAG (a little buggy in IE)
- Verse: like John 1:18 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible
- Exact Location: like this quote from Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology
And that’s not all. I just learned, thanks to Sean Boisen’s blog post “Libronix Links As Knowledge Resources,” that you can even link to most reports! So you can take someone directly to—and even run for them—any of these:
- Passage Guide report for John 1:18
- Exegetical Guide report for 1 Corinthians 15:28
- Bible Word Study report for εὐχαριστέω (doesn’t work in IE)
- Bible Speed Search for father+son+spirit
- Parallel Bible Versions for Ephesians 1:4-5
- Compare Parallel Bible Versions for Ephesians 1:4-5
- Passage in All Versions for John 3:16
- Verb River of 1 John
- Biblical People report for Gideon
- Compare Pericopes for Philippians 1
- Bible Cluster by Word Choice for Titus 2:13
- Bible Version Difference River for 1 John 5:6-8
- Lectionary Viewer for December 25, 2007
- Word Find for John 3
How cool is that?! And most of these links will even preserve preferences like version choice, etc. where applicable!
Some of you are already thinking of all the ways you can make use of this. Others of you might still be wondering how this would come in handy. Let me suggest a few ways:
- Include links to resources and reports in your digital teaching materials. If you use a computer while you teach, this will save you time by allowing you to look up sources and run reports more quickly giving you more time to spend actually teaching.
- Include links to resources and reports in your digital syllabi. Many universities and seminaries are now distributing syllabi as Word documents or PDFs. Having Libronix links in your material will make learning more efficient—and fun!
- Include links to resources and reports in your papers. This is helpful if you share your papers with others via your website or some other way digitally. If they use Libronix, they’ll be able to run down your footnotes. But perhaps it will be of most help to you. If you want to look up one of your sources to double check something or recheck the data behind your conclusion, it’s just a click away. My dissertation is full of thousands of hidden Libronix links.
- Include links to resources and reports in your blog posts. I regularly link to my Libronix library when blogging (e.g., see the notes section in this post).
So how do you create a link? It’s very simple. Open a resource to the location to which you want to link, click Favorites in the menu bar, then click Copy Location to Clipboard (or just use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Ctrl+C). Create your hyperlink, and you’re all set. It works the same way with most reports.
Here are a couple of articles where you can find more information about external linking to Libronix resources:
One warning about external linking and web browsers: Internet Explorer and Firefox don’t handle Libronix encoding the same way, so you may occasionally run into trouble with more complicated links (e.g., spaces are particularly problematic). A link may work in one browser but not another. In addition, Internet Explorer struggles with Greek and Hebrew, but Firefox tends to handle them properly. You shouldn’t have trouble with the simpler links, and we’re working on ways to get browsers to behave properly with the more complicated ones.
* I say usually because some pages have anchors built into them, which allows you to link to a specific section of the page, but most pages don’t have anchors and most people don’t know how to find anchor text or how to link to it.