Drupal: The Change We Need

Article excerpt

The change we need," according to Tim O'Reilly, keynote speaker at the 2010 DrupalCon San Francisco, "is DIY on a civic scale." We've come to rely on what O'Reilly called "vending machine government," where we put tax dollars in and expect services out, but real progress in civic organizations during tough economic times will depend on grassroots efforts mimicking an agile, open-source approach. Like Drupal, he said. As Drupal users ourselves, the editors of American Libraries find we can be more nimble with how we approach web publishing than ever before.

We chose Drupal for the new AL website primarily because of its popularity in libraries. Librarians have always embraced the do-it-yourself mentality and are having an impact on the use of Drupal in signficant ways. This year's April 19--21 conference was the first time DrupalCon had a library-specific program, "Shh! This Is a (Drupal-powered) Library Site!" by Katherine Lynch, Amy Qualls-Mc-Clure, and Tammy Allgood. Cary Gordon of the Cherry Hill Company, a consulting group that provides & range of Drupal services to libraries, called this session "some real success" on the library group at Drupal.org. "We always knew that Drupal was important to libraries," he said. "Now we have demonstrated that libraries are important to Drupal."

As evidenced at the session, libraries worldwide contribute to their communities and the Drupal project by working on what O'Reilly called "stuff that matters. …

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