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Site Launch: GermaniaBroadcast.net

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 6/3/15 (4:00pm)

Today was the official launch date of GermaniaBroadcast.net. I announced it on all the usual social networks.

It's actually been up for maybe a month -- with me fiddling around, adding content, rearranging it and the like. I guess, an alternative name for the thing could be, "Fun with Drupal and Content Management".

The site is built around various digital records that we have of daddy, William Klein and his radio show, "The Germania Broadcast" (1927-1970). Working with the data, I managed to organize everything into four principle categories, Events, People, Places and Library (or 'Documents').

The neat thing with Drupal is how you can connect one item in one category with items in any other. Say, the name of a singer pops up in the description of a concert in 1928 which happened at the Auditorium Theater; You can relate the person to the event and location going backwards and forward. The magic is called "Entity Reference" but again, I like to call it, 'Fun with Content Mgmt".

In any case, there's a slightly fuller explanation of the original radio broadcast plus background here: The Germania Broadcast : An Introduction.

Report on the Drupal4Lib BoF at DrupalCon Portland

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 5/22/13 (3:23pm)

Okay, they say this happens every time but maybe 19 people signed up for the event -- and 67 showed up. I'd say it was 'standing room only' except that maybe a dozen people were sitting on the carpet in the central aisle. People were standing alongside all the walls and needless to say there wasn't a free chair in the place.

Even with that number of people, we went from person to person, each telling us his or her name and institution. We had a good mix of academic, public and special libraries. This variety showed up repeatedly in the quality of the discussion.

Nina started things off with a presentation of the new Arapahoe Library District website. We next moved to an open discussion on everything from Drupal's compatibility with repository software such as Islandora to the possibilities of Drupal replacing the ILS entirely. One theme that manifested itself through the course of the discussion was the strong desire to collaborate more on projects. Possible vehicles for this include the Drupal Library Group, the Drupal4Lib ListServ and of course, the Drupal4Lib LITA IG.

Clearly we could have gone another hour but 60 minutes was all we had. People were encouraged to continue the discussions throughout the day and also, at our Drupal4Lib IG Meeting at ALA Chicago on June 30 (10:30a-11:30a).

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Library BoF at DrupalCon Portland?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 5/6/13 (1:28pm)

I know a couple of library people are going to DrupalCon in Portland in a week or two.

Looks to me like a great opportunity to get together and talk shop. So how about if we organize a Drupal4Lib BoF -- maybe on the Wednesday (5/22) sometime mid-day or in the early afternoon?

Topics could be open or suggested ahead of time. People could present projects they're working on, ask whatever questions they want. It'd be a great time!

If you've got a suggestion, either email me back or leave a comment here.

Is this a good general time to meet? Do you have a topic you'd want to suggest?

Any feedback would be appreciated! And hope to see you in Portland!

(UPDATE1): I set up a poll at the Drupal Library Group asking people what timeslot they prefer:

Poll: Drupal4Lib BoF - 10:45a-12p or 3:15p-4:30p?
http://groups.drupal.org/node/297483

(UPDATE2): Okay, '10:45a-12p' wins. Here's a link to the event on the Drupal Library Group:

Library BoF at DrupalCon Portland (5/22, 10:45a-12p)
http://groups.drupal.org/node/297878

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Drupal in Academe

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 1/7/13 (7:25pm)

Nice graphic (from a couple of months ago) by the people at Acquia. "71 of 100 Top Universities" run Drupal? I have a feeling that if any sub-unit is running Drupal, the University then qualifies -- so this shouldn't be a surprise. Still.

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Origin of LITA Drupal4Lib IG?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 6/14/12 (3:36pm)

lita.jpg

So by accident I came upon what looks like LITA's official page for the Drupal4Lib Interest Group. Apparently how the group got started is a mystery to LITA since all they have under 'Origin' is this:

Origin
To contribute information about the history of this interest group, contact LITA's Web Coordinating Committee at litaweb@ala.org.

Now that's kind of strange! I mean all you have to do is go to LITA's own blog and there you'll find the following contemporary account:

Drupal4Lib BoF at ALA Anaheim [6/30/08]: First up on the agenda was setting up the Drupal IG, making sure we have enough signatures and asking for volunteers to serve as Chair and Co-Chair. For the first year, Leo Klein (i.e. me) graciously volunteered to serve as chair and Ian Chan as co-chair.

The name for the IG is 'Drupal4Lib' and our purpose is “to promote the use and understanding of the content management system, Drupal, by libraries and librarians”.

Well, at least they got the name of the IG right.

UPDATE (6/18/12): Well, that's nice. The LITA people added the following note as to the origin of the Drupal4Lib Interest Group:

Origin

The LITA Drupal4Lib Interest Group was formed during the 2008 ALA Annual Conference at a Drupal BoF (Birds of a Feather) meeting. The informal gathering consisted of about 20 librarians with varying experience with content management systems. Some participants attended the BoF to research content management systems, others came demonstrate their Drupal-powered library sites or personal projects. During the meeting, attendees collected signatures to set up the Drupal interest group. Leo Klein and Ian Chan volunteered to serve as co-chairs. The name ‘Drupal4Lib’ was choosen and the attendees decided the purpose of the group was, “to promote the use and understanding of the content management system, Drupal, by libraries and librarians.” During that conference, LITA also hosted the Pre-Conference, "Getting Started With Drupal."

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Okay, here are the slides from my presentation, 'Drupal: Past, Present & Future' which I gave at the Chicagoland Drupal Library Group on May 23, 2012. Thanks to Mick (Skokie) for setting this up and Ann (OPPL) for hosting it.

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Speaking on Panel about Drupal at 2012 UIC IT Professionals Forum

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 3/14/12 (9:14pm)

The 2012 UIC IT Professionals Forum is in two weeks at the UIC Forum (Roosevelt & Halsted). My particular contribution will be appearing on a panel for the following session:

"Which Web Content Management System Should I Choose?"

Many different Web content management systems (WCMS) are in use within the U of I system. They all have both advantages and disadvantages. Come see a panel of Web developers show us the features and deficiencies in the WCMSs their departments use, so you can choose the best one for your department.

I figure I'll talk about the history of Drupal in general, how we've implemented it at UIC's Academic & Enrollment Services, the support we've gotten (mostly pretty good) from Campus IT, plus all the crazy content types we handle: 'Final Exam Locations' for the Office of Classroom Scheduling, 'School Record Types by Country' for Grad Admissions, Registration 'tickets' for the UIC Summer College Program, etc.

(I can't think of one project I've done that consisted of plain-vanilla webpages. Maybe that's why I'm using Drupal.)

UPDATE: Following up on the final thought above... My central theme will be:

"If it's going to be a complicated mess -- best to do it with Drupal!"

UPDATE (4/5/2012): Just finished the panel discussion on CMS's. All we got was 45 measly minutes! I talked mostly about Drupal and how we've implemented it for various projects. That was one half. The other half was giving people tips on what to look for -- and things to avoid -- when shopping for CMS's in general. We could easily have gone for an hour and a half. Nice turn out, just the same.

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Looking in the Mirror, He Asks: 'How Dumb Can You Get?'

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 3/8/12 (11:33pm)

So I spent some serious time looking at myself in the mirror, asking myself, 'how dumb can you get?' In fact, as an employee, I put myself on probation. Why? Because I spent hours -- hours!!! -- trying to figure out why a 'rule' I had created for one particular Drupal operation wasn't kicking in. Not at all! Here's a snippet of the interface. Maybe you can figure out why:

triggered_rule_550x480.gif

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Chicago Drupal Meetup Group (CDMUG) for February 2012

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 2/24/12 (7:46pm)

You can't tell by the photo but there were around 50-60 people at the event -- all levels from programmers to newbies. There was free beer and pizza -- so you know I had a good time. To sum up, it's just plain interesting to see what's happening in the 'community'. Different perspectives are great -- invigorating even.

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