Drupal: Content Management and Community for your Library — Access 2008

By on October 3, 2008
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Ilana Kingsley
Dave Mitchell
Harish Nayak
Debra Riley-Huff
Nick Ruest

University of Alaska, Fairbanks (Ilana Kingsley)

Movie collection: Movie covers (built with Drupal 4). Pulls in movie records from catalog (it’s a Sirisi catalog, so they need to screen-scrape) and matches with images and ratings from the Internet Movie Database and/or Rotten Tomatoes.
Library web site: Ilana got tired of making small changes to site and wanted to get staff more involved in content editing. Using Drupal’s modules, can customize what appears where and when.
Looked at lots of CMS tools (leaving out Plone, since Ilana didn’t know Python). Installation was easy, didn’t need to know lots of PHP. There’s a huge Drupal community — lots of support.
Had a two-year implementation process. Part of problem was political; campus IT department was not in favor of PHP/MySQL. Content analysis was a key element — making sure she understood the content types so that, ultimately, they could all be defined in the database and then assigned to individuals for maintenance and upkeep.
Keeps updating/adding modules — after testing on a development server.
Has a number of content types: Advertisement, annual report, collection guides, exhibits and collections, news & events, article indexes and collections, etc. Roles form basis for content types. Roles started with departments.

University of Mississippi (Debra Riley-Huff)

Subject guides: Used content construction kit to create a content type for subject guides. Customized navigation and presentation. The Presidential Debate guide (set up for the first U.S Presidential debate (at the campus) got heavy use. The Drupal install held up well under heavy traffic.
Themes are what makes a Drupal site look like you want it to. You can make Drupal content look the way you want it to. Best to start with “Zen” theme, which is bare-bones and easier to customize than out-of-the-box themes that come with Drupal. Matching existing site is difficult. Relied heavily on Content Construction Kit.
Government documents: A government documents repository site — government documents librarian can maintain the content through Drupal.

University of Rochester, River Campus (Harish Nayak)

Revamped library web site into Drupal. Also, Drupal is being used in the eXtensible Catalog (XC) project at Rochester, so there’s a large internal drive to make it happen there.
Their redesign process involves numerous activities: Several items center around the content: User research — the library has a staff anthropologist at UR did an ethnographic survey of how students use the library (broadly, not just online). Technology — showing new technologies to library staff. Usability — this is the checkpoint to make sure that the technology is being applied in good ways. Design — where the programming requirements come from. These are all interconnected in various ways.
Customization of user content (through MySite and/or Panels themes) gives a more personalized user experience. Rochester used MySite to allow users to rearrange their pages. Relies on JavaScript in the page. More interaction with server is necessary (pages aren’t all the same for all users) so can increase load.

London Public Library (Dave Mitchell)

Picked Drupal because of cost. But got very easy customization as a result.
Modified the comment tool so that comments could exist across sets of pages, not just on a single page — so that, for example, election information comments and questions could appear on all government-related pages as a single thread.

Nick Ruest (McMaster Library)

Library’s Digital Collections. Drupal isn’t an out-of-the-box digital collections tool, but Drupal’s CCK allows for the creation of Dublin Core metadata set.
OAI-PMH & CCK: The site has been harvested by several OAI-compliant harvesters, putting digital content into broader access.

Entry filed under: Conferences. Tags: .

User-Generated Content and Social Discovery in the Academic Library Catalogue: Findings from User Research — Access 2008 Thunder Talks — Access 2008


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