Library News

Arguments in Favor of Using WordPress

Considering a WordPress site for your Library, but need some convincing?

A few points in favor of using My Kansas Library on the Web, using WordPress:

  • WordPress is Web-based.  There is no need to purchase and install  Dreamweaver or FrontPage software on a library computer.  Instead, this program is provided as a service of the Library Systems at no cost.  Also, anyone with access to the Internet and a Browser can log in and make changes to the site.
  • WordPress is Collaborative. Multiple users, with granular permissions and editorial oversite, can contribute to the site. 
    • Administrator – ultimate control
    • Editor – Add, edit, delete, approve all content
    • Author – Add, edit, delete their content only
    • Contributor – Write (Submit for Review), edit, delete their own content
    • Subscriber – Read only
  • WordPress is Open Source.  Developers around the world submit professional-looking themes to the project, training materials are available online and through the codex, and the software is continually improved and distributed freely.
  • WordPress is Easy.  Admittedly, this is my personal opinion, but someone using WordPress does not need to know HTML, CSS, or PHP.  WordPress themes are built by Web developers who DO know all of those programming languages, so you benefit from their expertise without needing it yourself.
  • WordPress is Versatile.  With 1,221 free themes and 10,705 plugins to chose from, a Library can find the theme and side-bar widgets (plugins) that are right for their needs.  Pick a theme with a customizable header to showcase your unique photos. Choose a three-column theme enhanced with an Event Calendar, Bestseller RSS feeds, and social networking widgets, like Twitter or Facebook.
Library News

Upgrade Overview

At the beginning of the year, all KLOW sites were updated to version 2.9 (overview from WordPress) and now version 3.0 is available (overview).

We hope you see this as an opportunity to update the look, feel and content of your library’s Web site using a more powerful version of WordPress that has enhanced functionality and security.

As administrators, we took the unplanned update in January as a learning opportunity and encourage all of the KLOW participating libraries to update more frequently.

When you see a prompt on the Dashboard to Update, feel free to do so!

So, what can you expect with versions 2.9 and 3.0?

Do you want to update your Theme?
Themes are easy to change and maybe this would be a good time to find a new and better one from the WordPress Theme Directory.

Do you need to restore images and documents lost in January?
Your posts may look strange and links to documents and forms may need to be recreated after the image file or document is added back to the Media Library. The Media Library is a newer feature that lets you to upload Media (pictures, documents, sound clips, videos, etc.) that you can later use in a post or page.  You can also use software like Jing! to create and store screenshots on the Web, then use the “Add an Image > From URL” feature of WordPress to reference an image from the Web, rather than adding the image file to your Media Library.

What’s with the New (and Improved) Dashboard in 2.9 and 3.0?
The old version looked something like this:

The new 2.9 version looks like the 2.7 version that some of you were using.
Either way, the new Dashboard looks more like this:

Changes to the Dashboard to be aware of:

  • From the great writers of the WordPress Codex explanation on the Administration Panel: “On the left side of the screen is the main navigation menu detailing each of the administrative functions you can perform. Within each major function, such as Posts, a pull-down arrow is presented when the mouse hovers over the title area. A click of that arrow expands the menu to display each of the sub-menu choices. Clicking that arrow again collapses the sub-menu.”
  • To Add or Edit a Post or Page, instead of going to “Write” or “Manage,” you open the Posts or Pages menu and select the ‘Edit’ or ‘Add New’ link.
  • “Design” has been renamed “Appearance” and moved to the lower left area, after the “Comments” menu.
  • “Media Library” has been shortened to “Media” and you can now add new items to it.
  • “Settings,” “Plugins” and “Users” are now grouped together under “Appearance” and “Tools” appears to be new.

Useful Instructions from the WordPress Site:

Library News

I’ve lost my password what do I do?!

This happens. Here’s how to fix it.

Pre-emptively (as in, before you lose your password):

Make sure that your librarian account has an email address associated with it.

    • Log in
    • Click Users
    • Click Librarian
    • Make sure that your email address is entered in under Contact information.
    • If you added or changed the email address, click “Update User”

Oh no! I’ve lost my password!

  • On the login screen, click “Lost Your Password?”
  • Type in your username (usually librarian) or the email address associated with your account.
  • Click “Get new password”
  • Check your email for the confirmation link
  • Click the link from your email.
  • Check your mail for your new password
  • Go back to the login screen and use the new password to log in.

Now, we want to change the password to something we know and can remember:

  • Log in using the new password
  • Click Users
  • Click your user, usually librarian
  • Scroll down until you see the two “New Password” fields
  • Type in your new password in each box
  • Click “Update User”
Library News

KLOW in Computers in Libraries

We’re excited to report that KLOW was featured in an article in Computers in Libraries this month.

Read it!

Our own Sharon Moreland wrote the article, and it’s very exciting for us to be featured in a national library magazine!

Library News Tutorial

HOWTO: Integrating your Library’s KLOW site with an RSS Screen Saver

Today we have a guest post from Thatcher Rea from Basehor Library. Enjoy!


Thatcher Rea
Technology Services Coordinator
Basehor Community Library

Hopefully your decision to use KLOW for your library website has been an incredibly enjoyable experience – Basehor Library’s move meant not only could we more quickly publish content to our website, we could have multiple librarians and staff authoring content as soon as it was ready, instead of waiting for a webmaster to massage and publish the content.

The use of KLOW brings a number of really helpful and interesting features – one of which is RSS. If you’re not familiar with this feature, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is quickly becoming the preferred method of keeping up to date with other web sites in an automated fashion, without visiting the website from which the content originated.

Users of KLOW will also have the added benefit of being able to create specific categories, and then use RSS feeds from those categories specifically (Which KLOW does for you automatically). Combine this with a freely available RSS Screen Saver and you now have a simple, yet powerful tool for prominently displaying information in your library. Update the website, and your information is automatically updated and displayed without any further effort on your part.

This sounds great you may ask, but what would we use it for? By being able to subscribe to an RSS feed for a specific category within your KLOW site means you can use this approach for a variety of different uses. For example:

  • Displaying helpful tips on your public access computers for patrons at your library
  • Display upcoming events on a public computer marquee
  • Any other creative uses – the sky is the limit!

One such product that we at Basehor have used is by NuParadigm – there are other free RSS Screen Savers out there, and you may find one that you like better, but so far this one has worked out well for us.

Click below to see how!