What is Drupal?
In the past year, you may have heard about a tool called Drupal that SCLS staff have been investigating to meet your libraries' website needs. Drupal is a free software package for managing and publishing websites.
What's in it for you?
Using Drupal will make it possible to add modern website features member libraries have requested, including calendars and event listings, photo galleries and slideshows, RSS feeds, mobile websites, and more. It will also enable website updates to be made from any
Internet-connected workstation with a web browser, without the need for additional software purchases.
What have we done so far?
In the past year, Greg, Kerri, and Rose have been learning how to host the Drupal software, learning how to use it, and making plans for how to make it available for the websites we host. In the process, we've begun using Drupal for 3 live websites: the Lester Public Library of Rome website, the Beyond the Page website, which is a collaborative project headed by DCL and involving all Dane County libraries, and a website for the Book'n It Run, which is a fundraiser for SUN.
What is the plan?
The next phase of the project is to make Drupal available to your libraries and prepare your staff to use it. We're proposing that over the remaining months of 2012 and into 2013, we will provide training for your staff and convert the 40+ websites we host to use Drupal without undertaking major redesigns on each site. We intend to provide options for continuing to use the same design your existing website uses or choosing a new design from a selection of themes. We'll be able to enable some of the new features right away -- no lengthy redesign process needed.
Numerous libraries have requested major redesigns, and we remain committed to providing this service, once we have a majority of the sites we host on the same platform. Moving to Drupal before a full redesign will help you and your staff become familiar with using it without the additional work from the redesign, and moving the sites we host to Drupal in rapid succession will help make our training and support efforts more efficient. We'll only have one platform to support, and you'll have lots of peers who are learning how to use it.
What happens next?
SCLS staff continue to work on developing best practices and creating documentation & training material. We will be providing more information about Drupal in the future and seeking volunteers to be early-adopters for the migration project.
Watch for more info in upcoming weeks!