Designing and building a collaborative library intranet for all
|Designing and building a collaborative library intranet for all|
|Published in||Journal of Web Librarianship|
|Keyword(s)||Academic libraries, Collaboration, Content management system, Drupal, Internal communication, Intranet, MediaWiki, Staff development, Web design|
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Intranets should provide quick and easy access to organizational information. The University of Alabama Libraries' intranet was only partially satisfying this basic expectation. Librarians could use it to find forms, policies, committee assignments, and meeting minutes, but navigating the libraries' intranet was neither quick nor easy, and it was only one of multiple sources for essential internal information. The Web Services Department of the University of Alabama Libraries was responsible for directing the redesign of the intranet. Moving to the open-source Drupal content management system (http://drupal.org), Web Services launched a revamped public Web site in January 2009. The intranet was slated for a similar redesign and conversion to Drupal by the end of the same year. The goal was to build a site that served as a center for information for library faculty and staff, provided a stream of information to keep librarians throughout the system connected, contained personalized features based on an individual's group memberships, and created a collaborative environment for all library personnel. The new intranet is a one-stop source for internal information and includes features to promote communication, professional development, and collegiality. The database-driven Drupal framework provided greater flexibility in organizing and presenting information and allowed inclusion of additional data sources. By wrapping together existing disparate information sources, adding new functionality, and giving users a platform for adding content, the new intranet is designed to be an integral part of librarians' daily workflow.
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