Drupal Basics for Libraries

March 15, 2010

I had a great time teaching my Drupal Basics for Libraries class for Lyrasis. It includes a good grounding in CMS basics, including how those differ from what many of us think of as traditional web design. Anyhow, the class will be repeated in June, so, just keep an eye out. This is not content that I can share, but I do remind you that I write (and share freely) on Drupal quite a bit. You can also email me questions and I will answer them as the question of the day, as I am able. I do love ♥ Drupal, although, I confess, I will always love the straight up blank notepad and coding. In terms of maintenance though: Drupal wins hands down.

Drupal basics for librarians

February 8, 2010

Class size is limited. Live interactive demo, too!

As the Open Source and Free Software movements gain ground, more and more open-source options are becoming available to libraries. In this two-hour online class, will discuss what Open Source does and doesn’t mean, and will introduce a variety of different types of library applications (with an emphasis on web site tools) for which there are open-source versions available.


Yay, I’m teaching… (again)….

Drupal 7 news

December 2, 2009

The Drupal community is eagerly anticipating the unwrapping of its newest version 7 release. While there is speculation on when the official release date will happen, the end result will be a number of significant enhancements. The underlying focus has been on improving usability. In fact, an internationally renowned design firm was engaged to spearhead the efforts and facilitate community based suggestions. Drupal has long been accused as more of a “developer friendly” platform when stacked against its counterparts in the CMS world. However, one can expect to see a number of differences in Drupal 7.

More here:

Join us — new Drupal and Expression Engine Groups

November 20, 2009

Hola! I’m chairing the ATHDrupal group and for now, I am just “helping” the EEATH group (I hope a Chair rises organically in the group).
ATHDrupal is a new regional Drupal group (forming out of the ashes of UGA Drupal Group). We would like to invite anyone interested in Drupal to join us. We hope to have some f2f meetings — perhaps, semesterly (and also, to connect up with DrupalAtlanta at some point).

Drupal is an opensource content management system.
You can join the Drupal group @

Additionally a new regional group has formed for the CMS, Expression Engine

If you have questions, just drop me a line. thanks, robin

Book reviews at techstatic

February 25, 2009

I’m reviewing books for techstatic (next month, my review is on MediaWiki and then April’s title is Library Blogging).

Review – Developing Facebook Platform Applications with Rails

Review – Content Management Systems in Libraries

Change.gov — governmental site with web2.0 tech and ee

November 14, 2008

I’m not trying to start a political discussion, but if you haven’t checked out the new website http://www.change.gov, it is kind of interesting in terms of the use of web2.0 technologies.

It includes a blog (with rss, of course), a mechanism to sign up for emails, a form to share stories or thoughts, and more (the blog includes youtube videos, too).

Contrary to the chatter about it being drupal run (I was hopeful!) , it’s expression engine (the search throttle screen and the rss feed gives it away….)

See (first clue; oh do I know this screen well):

and here’s the big giveaway:

Q&A: How to pull widgets into Drupal and how to create a new block

July 24, 2008

So, I thought instead of just answering questions via my mailbox or the comments, I would take those questions and expand them into a little post.

Question: How to put a widget (Youtube badge, del.icio.us feed, facebook profile, etc.) you into Drupal? What module is needed?

Answer: While there are modules for many social networking sites, depending on how the content will be used, a module may not be necessary. If all you want to do is pull content in, then creating a block with the widget code enclosed is all that is needed.

If you are not sure what Drupal is and need some help getting started, may I suggest my Drupal Overview? ..and other shorter overview. Okay, now that we have that out of the way, to the easy.

Step 1 — Get the widget!

  • Make your widget and get the code — you can either use widgetbox, or go through various services (the youtube website) or you can just google want you want to do, like make a flickr badge.
  • Save the code snippet in notepad, or an email, or someplace easily accessible.

Step 2 — Create a new block in Drupal

  • Open and login (as Admin) in your Drupal site. Go to Administer > Site building > Add block

  • Give your new block a name — this title will appear in your Admin menu (in other words this one is for you!
  • Give your block a new public title, e.g., the header for your content.
  • Past in your widget code.
  • Under Input > Choose Full html! Your widget will not work otherwise!

  • Set user preferences and public availability, if desired. In other words, you can control who sees this content and who doesn’t as well as where they see it. For public and across the site, just skip these, two sections.
  • Save!

Step 3 — Assign your block to its spot on your website. Otherwise, it will not show up. You’ve created the content, now put it on your page.

Review Library Technology Reports: Drupal in Libraries

July 7, 2008

As some of you know, I’ve been working with Drupal (opensource website content management system) for a while. I’ve built several websites in it, from an arts website to my portfolio.
I’ve also become part of the Drupal group on campus, just a group of like minded folks interested in Drupal.

At the first meeting I was asked (volunteered?) to demo the admin interface of Drupal and talk a little bit about Drupal. Using my brief Drupal overview which I put together for a few interested folks in the Libraries, I started fleshing out my documentation to encompass a wider audience.

As I was working on my presentation documentation, I was fortunate enough to receive the May/June 2008 issue of Library Technology Reports (ISSN 0024-2586), Drupal in Libraries by Andy Austin and Christopher Harris. Surprisingly enough, we covered a few of the same library sites as drupal examples, but the real value of Drupal in Libraries is that for each example site, there is an interesting interview from the library, which covers questions such as favorite features, challenges, and more of the new Drupal driven website.

Drupal in Libraries also provides a basic overview of terminology, which is easy to follow, even for a newbie to Drupal. Modules featured are discussed in more extensive detail than my list of most useful Drupal modules.

For those of you who are interested in Drupal and how it can be used in libraries, I definitely recommend Drupal in Libraries and of course, in a shameless bit of self promotion, you can read my Drupal writings, too.

Expression Engine security vs. drupal

June 23, 2008

Nice outline of pros and cons of two security models (closed vs. opensource), expression engine (ee) vs. drupal. Of course, lullabot also is closely tied to drupal, so take it for what it is worth.


Most useful Drupal modules

June 19, 2008

I thought I would crosspost some of what I consider my most useful Drupal handout information from my demo and presentation for the UGADG. Of course, this doesn’t include the demo part at the moment! Maybe I will screencapture that part and add it in later. Another thing for the todo list! Anyhow, you can see the handouts here

..and now to the top ten (plus):

Import HTML: import html from existing website. Information available at http://cvs.drupal.org/viewvc.py/drupal/contributions/modules/import_html/import_html_help.htm?view=text&revision=HEAD

Access control & users:


Drupal Modules Finder http://drupalmodules.com/module-finder

Thanks to:

Top 10 Drupal Modules http://webpodge.com/2007/02/22/top-10-drupal-modules/;
Drupal4Libraries Listserv, Amy Qualls-McClure (Huntsville – Madison County Public Library); Cary Gordon Cary Gordon (The Cherry Hill Company, http://www.chillco.com); Ken Newquist, (Lafayette College, https://ww2.lafayette.edu/~soapbox/blog/newquisk) and Leo Klein (The Chicago Librarian, http://www.leoklein.com)

See resources for more links.