Three years ago IUPUI University Library decided to move from a static website to a content management system (CMS). Many proprietary and Open Source systems were investigated. In the end, the Drupal Open Source CMS project was selected for development of a new library website. We have learned many Drupal lessons along the way and I would like to share some of what we've discovered. This will include a look at several of the modules available for Drupal, including library specific ones, which can greatly expand Drupal's capabilities. However, since not all modules are created alike, I would also like to point out what to look for when examining a module to see if it will fit your needs. Another very powerful aspect of Drupal is its themes. Through the use of template files, the look and feel of an entire website can be easily maintained. With a little PHP programming and some detective work in the Drupal forums, we have created several themes for special purposes. While modules and themes are great, the true value of a website comes from its content. Allowing quick and easy editing of pages for a multitude of users was a primary consideration when choosing our CMS. For this task, we have taken advantage of Drupal's taxonomy system. While not the only way to control editing rights in Drupal, taxonomy terms combined with a couple of modules has worked well for us. Finally, code only last so long; bugs and security holes will crop up. As with all Open Source projects, Drupal's updates and upgrades are in the hands of its development community. I will conclude with a description of how University Library handles updates and what challenges are ahead of us in making a full system upgrade.


Last updated by andjsmit on 04/30/2009