Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
As more information managers are being given the task of web content administration than ever before, it is natural that greater interest is shown in software for web content management than would have been the case even a few years ago. Drupal has proven to be one of the most widely used software options for web content management, and as well as it's functionality it is open source software, too, which adds to its attractiveness for many librarians who have to work on a tight budget.
Varnum's book covers issues such having to develop technical specifications while simultaneously having to deal with people not always considered natural allies of librarians, such as the in‐house IT staff. The reader is guided through the software installation stage, then to the use of the system. Topics covered include the addition of modules, the development of themes (aka page layouts) and the actual use of Drupal for content management. The software is designed to allow for sharing, and as the philosophy of open source encourages it there are some librarian‐created modules that can be used by the Drupal community; some of these are described in this book, together with basic instructions on how to install them. The section on creating Organic Groups was very good and gave me plenty of ideas how this functionality could be used in a library setting.
In this book you will also read advice on how to market a web site once you have created it, best practices for project management, and a few ideas how to measure the success of your site. Of course, much of this is available elsewhere and anyone reading widely will have found other sources they prefer for that sort of content, but nothing takes away from the really useful advice in Varnum's book on Drupal itself, for this is the first book to be published specifically on Drupal in libraries.
How much you get from this book may depend upon your present state of knowledge. If not familiar with content management systems then the earlier chapters will have help you understand how Drupal manages content. For those with some familiarity then later chapters, especially chapter 9 on developing trends, will spark most interest. The book is written for non‐technical readers and is made approachable by the use of several relevant screenshots of Drupal in use. This is a good addition to the shelves of any information manager interested in the future uses of technology.