or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk


Upcoming Workshop: CMS Day!

   May 19th, 2009 Brian Herzog

website designer comicI'm a member of the IT section of the New England Library Association, and we're holding a workshop on popular CMS software. If you're thinking about redesigning or updating your website, or would are just curious about what CMS' are and what they can do, then this workshop is for you.

CMS Day! Build a better website with Content Management Systems: Drupal, Joomla, Plone, & WordPress
Keynote by Jessamyn West

Date: Friday, June 12, 2009
Location: Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, NH (directions)
Cost: NELA members - $50; Non-members - $60
Registration Fee includes lunch & a NELA USB hub!

To Register
Secure online registration & downloadable mail-in registration [pdf] are both available at http://www.nelib.org/its/conference. Registration Closes Monday June 8.

Program Schedule
10:00 a.m. - Registration & Coffee & Library Tours
10:30 a.m. - Keynote: CMS options - Jessamyn West
12 noon - Lunch (provided!) and Library Tours
12:45 p.m. - Librarians share their real-life CMS experiences:
--Drupal - Darien (CT) PL (darienlibrary.org) & Paige Eaton Davis, Minuteman Network
--Joomla - Randy Robertshaw, Tyngsborough PL (tynglib.org)
--Plone - Rick Levine & CMRLS Librarians
--WordPress - Theresa Maturevich, Beverly (MA) PL (beverlypubliclibrary.org)
3:30 p.m. -Wrap-Up!

Keynote by Jessamyn West

Jessamyn West is a community technology librarian. She lives in rural Vermont where assists tiny libraries with their technology planning and implementation. Her favorite color is orange. Jessamyn maintains an online presence at: librarian.net and jessamyn.info

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NELA Program Refund Policy: A full refund shall be granted provided that the registered attendee has contacted the authorized representative of ITS responsible for taking registrations, at least ten (10) business days in advance of the program. In the event that notice is given less than ten days, a refund is not granted, however, they may send a substitute to the program.

For more information, please contact Scott Kehoe at 978-762-4433 x16 / scott@nmrls.org



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New Library CMS?

   December 18th, 2007 Brian Herzog

Kyle and his Drupal bookYou know how you mean to do something, and know you should do it, but you never get around to it? Well, that's me with learning Drupal.

But my friend Kyle (that's Kyle, in the hat) isn't a slouch like me. He actually went out and bough a Drupal book to learn from (while I, on the other hand, sit about twenty feet away from one every day, but have yet to crack it).

Anyway: my library uses Adobe Dreamweaver to manage our website. But dealing with static html pages is cumbersome, and stands as a large barrier to getting more staff contributing (easily) to our website. So, using a tool like Drupal would be a great improvement - not just for site management, but also in usefulness for our patrons.

I'm getting there. I'm also looking at expanding our WordPress installation, from running just our blog to containing our entire website. Or, we could use Joomla. Or Scriblio. Or Plinkit. Part of the problem is the myriad of tools to choose from.

And Kyle's no help. He writes:

One thing that I have been looking into for one of my clients is Omeka (http://omeka.org/). Omeka is a wiki/cms solution for museums and libraries to catalog information in an online format. It is being developed at George Mason University specifically for historical institutions.

Another tool. But from what I can tell (using it is invitation only, at the moment), it is neat, and they've got some interesting sites running it. I'm going to watch it and see where it goes.

I know I've been talking about these CMS tools for awhile, but perhaps that's what new year's resolutions are for. We will migrate the website to a new platform by the end of 2008. Ah, we'll see.

Oh, and one more thing: I recently read that there's a new drupal4lib group. Maybe with a support group, it'll actually happen.

cms, drupal, drupal4lib, joomla, kyle, libraries, library, omeka, public, scriblio, wordpress



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NELA-ITS Spring Program 2007 – Wes Hamilton

   June 6th, 2007 Brian Herzog

Wes Hamilton speakingWes Hamilton, WMRLS
As a compliment to the previous presentations, Wes focused just on Linux as an operating system, rather than the applications that run on top of it. He started with an interesting evolutionary history of Linux, which put into context all of the different flavors available today, and why there are so many.

He also pointed out that, even without knowing it, almost every internet user is already a Linux user, even if indirectly. Some of the post popular websites today (Google, flickr, Wikipedia and YouTube) are all being run on Linux platforms (and in Google's case, Wes said that over 450,000 Linux servers power the search engine - that is an unfathomable number of servers).

A few websites of note from Wes' presentation:

   [view Wes' presentation]

Speakers

drupal, firefox, libraries, library, linux, nela, nela-its, open office, open source, randy robertshaw, userful



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NELA-ITS Spring Program 2007 – Randy Robertshaw

   June 6th, 2007 Brian Herzog

Randy Robertshaw speakingRandy Robertshaw, Tyngsborough (MA) Public Library
Randy has converted his small public library over to as much open source Linux applications as possible.

His goal in this conversion was to save the library money by paying less for hardware and software, and by saving staff time in supporting the library computers. Randy's presentation focused mostly on available open source applications, such as Firefox, Drupal, Open Office, and on a company they use to maintain their Linux clients, Userful, and offered a lot of practical implementation tips (download his presentation below).

But Randy does not see open source software (OSS) as the be-all and end-all or library computing. He covered both pros and cons, in that it offers reduced cost and high flexibility, but the trade off is that the software isn't necessarily as high-quality or as stable as commercial software. When deciding to go with OSS, we really need to evaluate both what we want to accomplish as well as the available OSS tools, to find the best fit.

   [download Randy's presentation: pdf (5.2M)]

Speakers

drupal, firefox, libraries, library, linux, nela, nela-its, open office, open source, randy robertshaw, userful



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