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Drupal in Libraries

Library Technology Reports volume 44 no. 4 Drupal in Libraries

  • “We've seen a number of library sites really take off and come up with new ways to reach their patrons—especially by marketing library programs,” Michael Samuelson, Web Developer,

Idaho Commission for LibrariesThe Idaho Commission for Libraries (formerly called the Idaho State Library) is an organization that helps libraries in Idaho "better serve their clientele," says Web developer Michael Samuelson.

Part of that effort — to help libraries better serve their users — is helping library staff members develop Web sites that "reach out to patrons and provide, essentially, virtual branch[es]," Samuelson notes.

The Idaho Commission for Libraries is doing just that with its "E-Branch in a Box" project, which provides "Drupal-powered Web sites to, mainly, public libraries."

The Commission's E-Branch project is just one of the many aspects presented in "Drupal in Libraries," the fourth issue of Library Technology Reports this year.

Written by Andy Austin and Christopher Harris — both who work for the School Library System of the Genesee Valley BOCES (Board of Educational Cooperative Services) in New York State — the issue features helpful case history examples of Drupal use in libraries. Most of the report, however, is dedicated to a useful and user-friendly how-to guide for libraries interested in utilizing Drupal — and its dedicated developer community — to build dynamic and easy-to-use library Web sites.

"Welcome to a New Paradigm"

In “Drupal in Libraries," Austin and Harris start the report with a discussion of content management systems and identify benefits of using them for "content" organizations.

"Libraries are about content: acquiring it, storing it, indexing it, retrieving it, and presenting it," explain the authors in chapter 1 ("Welcome to a New Paradigm"). "Content management systems help libraries accomplish these tasks on the Web by providing a back-end structure for a Web site so the authors can focus on content."

Also in the "Drupal in Libraries" issue:

  • Why Drupal? Who is Drupal?
  • System Requirements and Installation
  • "Adding 'Stuff' to a Drupal Site" (Chapter 3) and "User Management" (Chapter 4)
  • Drupal Customization, Case Studies, and Drupal Resources

About the Authors
Andy Austin is a Library Technologies Specialist with the Genesee Valley BOCES, where he spends much of his time developing Drupal sites. In addition to his BA in English from SUNY Geneseo and MLS from the University of Buffalo, he has New York State teacher certification as a school library media specialist. When not spending time with his wife, Vicky, and two young sons, Eric and Nate, he can be found maintaining the Drupal Marc project or infrequently posting on his personal Drupal site, http://posttext.com.

Christopher Harris, author of the Infomancy blog, is the coordinator of the school library system for Genesee Valley BOCES, an educational services agency that supports the libraries of 22 small, rural districts in western New York. In addition to blogging on Infomancy, Christopher is a technology blogger for School Library Journal on Digital Reshift as well as a regular technology columnist. He was a participant in the first American Library Association Emerging Leaders program in 2007 and was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for 2008. Christopher is an avid gamer as well as a dedicated reader. He lives with his wife, an elementary librarian, in Le Roy, New York.

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