I’ve been spending some of my free time lately working on another library’s Drupal-based website (don’t tell my library’s site that I’m cheating on it!!). The North Kansas City Public Library just went live with their new website last week. As with all websites, the site isn’t *done*, but it is ready for the public, so I thought I’d point to it and discuss, briefly, what I did to help get the site ready for prime time.
When I started work on the site, they had the Drupal backend installed and a theme chosen, but they wanted a couple of things tweaked. The first thing they asked for was the slideshow that you see on the home page. I did that with Views Slideshow and a wee bit of CSS trickery to get it to sit so tightly against the sides. Now all the staff has to do is create a slideshow content node and it automatically shows up in the slideshow! One of the other things that they wanted was some modification of the Sky theme that they are using. I took out most of the thin grey lines that border the content and a lot of the extra space between blocks and various bits of content. Let’s just say that I got to know Sky’s CSS files very well…
Another thing that they asked me to set up for them was the News and Updates blocks below the slideshow on the home page. That was done by creating a News View, getting it set up to grab all News content types (a new content type created through CCK – the Content Creation Kit) and publishing it. When I had it the way I wanted it, I cloned the View and created the Updates block very easily!
The only big challenge that I faced with this site had to do with the Event calendar. On the big calendar of events (they use the Event module to make that happen), repeating events were being displayed once in a particular month, but none of the repeats were shown later in the month. This seems to be a weakness of the Event module and I couldn’t find a good solution for it, so they enter each event as a separate event – no repeating… If you have come across this issue and figured out a better solution, please let me know!!
I also set up event sign-up capabilities for them through the sign-up module that works with the Event module. That was a little less straightforward – the sign-up module requires that you actually edit the PHP array that produces the form if you want more information than it gives you. I did so, but for people who are using Drupal because they aren’t comfortable with editing code, this could be a deal-breaker. Other than that, though, the sign-up and Event modules work nicely together!
While I did much of the backend development, the content and graphics were provided by the North Kansas City Public Library. They have a very talented graphic designer on staff (Nicole Parigo) who made all of the gorgeous icons, slideshow images and other graphical bits on the site. It’s easy to make a site pretty when the images are so very well done! Steven Campbell worked on the content and had installed and put into place many of the modules needed for the site to function before I started work on it, which meant I didn’t have to start from scratch!
The three of us working together put a, if I may say so myself, very nice site together for the North Kansas City Library – one that will be easy to update and maintain for the staff and useful for the library’s patrons.