Content Management Strategy for a College Library Web Site

By Dahl, Mark | Information Technology and Libraries, March 2004 | Go to article overview

Content Management Strategy for a College Library Web Site


Dahl, Mark, Information Technology and Libraries


Watzek Library at Lewis and Clark College uses a dual strategy to manage the content of its Web site. Informational pages are created with a template system based on the following tools: Macromedia Dreamweaver and Contribute, PHP, server-side includes, and cascading style sheets (CSS). This system allows the site to be updated easily by several staff members and permits all pages to be presented with a graphical banner and sidebar or in a text-only fashion. Pages are presented that organize electronic and other research resources using the afore-mentioned system; a relational database is used to drive the content. This database is populated using locally developed PHP software that allows the building of pathfinders of resources organized by subject and category. Overall, this system provides for collaborative content upkeep, flexible presentation options, structured data, and reuse of data.

**********

Lewis and Clark College's Aubrey R. Watzek Library implemented a new Web site in 2003. Beyond the design and architecture of the site, a major challenge was developing a framework that allows several different staff members to update content on the site with minimal knowledge of HTML or complex Web-editing tools. This article will discuss the concept of content management in an academic library setting and then elaborate on the system that was chosen at Lewis and Clark. (1)

"Content management" is a term that refers to the collection, management, and publishing of information online. The concept of content management comes into play when creating and maintaining a Web site. It involves collaboration of multiple specialists, such as designers, programmers, writers, and editors.

Most commercial content management systems are software pack ages designed for the collaborative construction and maintenance of large Web sites. Generally, they support a separation of content from presentation, thereby allowing the look and feel of a Web site to be controlled centrally while content-updating duties are distributed. They tend to feature defined document schemas to allow for easy repurposing of documents to fit various presentation styles and document formats. They also typically provide access and workflow controls to specify who can view, edit, and approve content that is added to a site.

In the last few years, commercial and homegrown content management systems have made their way into the higher education and academic library world. At the college or university level, they are often implemented as second- or third-generation Web sites in order to decentralize the upkeep of the site. Oftentimes, they are put in place to address frustrations that stem from centralized management of a Web site. (2)

College libraries have a great deal of content to present on their Web sites. Their catalogs, online databases, and digital repositories can easily contain hundreds of thousands of bibliographic records, electronic articles, images, and other files. This content is typically managed using an integrated library system, vendor-supplied databases, digital library system software and increasingly, federated searching systems.

When one thinks of a traditional library Web site, one thinks of the pages on the site outside of the specialized Web services previously mentioned. It includes those pages that provide information about the library and links to the resources that the library offers. Some academic libraries now build their Web sites as a part of a college- or university-wide content management system. (3)

But many academic libraries still find it most effective to create a Web site that is independent from their parent institution's Web site. Some large academic libraries have implemented commercial content management systems to manage their own sites: For many academic libraries, this is not an affordable option. The solution used at Watzek Library, described in this article, demonstrates that many of the advantages of full-blown content management systems are available from a less expensive, smaller-scale solution.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Content Management Strategy for a College Library Web Site
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.