Sunday, October 26, 2008

Putting the Library Website in Their Hands

The Advantages and Challenges of a Homegrown Content Management System
Rachel Vacek, University of Houston Libraries

Virtual searches; new books from the catalog. Uses libraryfind for federated search.

Advantages: rapid prototyping; know the system intimateely; can add upgrades quickly; modular; miccroformats. Always looks fresh with rss feeds.

Disadvantages: for infrequent users, rapid prototyping can be a problem. Documentation is hard to keep current. Web developers are constantly working on it. Backend works with Firefox, not IE. Built with coldfusion, which costs $$$. Lots of flexibility means sometimes librarians go off in unexpected directions.

Future plans:
-api with worldcat and book jackets
-search engine with metadata
-new layout engine
-add other media
-create platform for user contributed content and personalization
-integrate with digital library and other library systems
-try to make it open source by summer 2009.

Third-party applications: Uses flickr to find creative commons images. libraryfind. wordpress. librarything. serialssolutions. digitool (ex libris), archon, worldcat.

For more info: Karen Coombs; Rachel Vacek

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