Remember how last month I blogged about using a wiki for the library’s Readers Advisory Site? It looked like this. Well we ran into some issues, the IT department was having some problems with the input form and the other Librarians didn’t like it (I’m not gonna list their complaints), so I started rethinking it. Since I was going to be building a new one from scratch I knew I wanted patrons to be able to print out the lists as well as be able to use it to see the record in the catalog. I also wanted something other staff were comfortable and familiar with. I knew many of the staff set up a blog during our Library Learning 2.0 program. I’m very familiar with blogging & WordPress, and I knew I could tweak the pages and post to make it function the way I wanted. The library already uses WP for it’s main blog so it was a simple matter to have another blog set up. I got to work and it worked out even better than I’d hoped! See it here, read on for the how I made it happen.
First I created 7 Pages, including “About” & “Local Lists”, which has links to locally created lists for adults. I set the Home page of the blog to “Local Lists”.
I then used Posts to create the individual local lists, each Post is a different list. Once the Post is published to I grap the URL and add the link to the appropriate page. Since the homepage is set to the Local Lists Page, the blog posts don’t show up.
For example when I was creating the “If you liked Harry Potter” list for children, I wrote a new post post, titled it, added the content (title, author and call number) in the body of the post, hyperlinked the title to the catalog, and added some tags. When it was complete, I published it, grabbed the URL, went to the “Local Lists for Children” page edited it by adding the new list title and link.
Other staff can be given a their own user name and password and WordPress allows me to set their administration rights individually. After they’ve created a list, then let me know it’s ready and I add it to the appropriate page.
Secondly because it’s built on blogging platform people can leave comments, and they have! Patrons can leave feed back or suggestions or authors can plug their books, which is fine if teh ocmment matches the subject of the list.
Right now I’ve chosen a fun theme, the library is in the process of updating the website, so in the future I may change it to something that more closely matches the main site.
- Easy to add new pages as the site grows
- Easy to Post new lists
- tagging makes finding a list even easier
- Patrons can leave comment
- Lists can be used in the library & from home
- Links to the catalog make is easy for patrons to check the status of an item or place a hold
- Lists can be created using mostly copy & paste
- I get good stats
- Each staff member gets their own username and password and administration rights
- Theme is easily to update
- Staff need to be comfortable with creating hyperlinks
- There is no “undo” button is something gets accidentally deleted
- WordPress needs to be updated pretty often
- It does look like a blog, although I know it could be further tweaked so it doesn’t.