Library News

Highlights of WordPress 3.0

Feel free to update your Web site to 3.0.1

Three dot oh dot one
Bug fixes to make you smile
Update your WordPress

For a great tour (with more information than you’ll need), watch this short video.  If you like jazz, you may want to watch just to hear Thelonius Monk.

Other interesting features:

  • Look for the Blue Buttons – they direct you to Save and Publish and Update
  • The Media Library and new Edit Image functions built into WordPress allow you to bring in stock photos, crop, and resize from within your site.
  • Use the Categories and Link Categories to your advantage when deciding on navigation within your site.
  • Searching for and installing a new theme is a snap – video forthcoming on the project site.
  • Understanding that when you first select a theme, certain widgets appear by default, even though the Sidebar 1 or Sidebar 2 tabs on the Widgets page look empty. Once you add a widget to any of the sidebars, all of the defaults will disappear.
  • WordPress treats Links with high regard – they’re special and good and can be categorized and those categorized links can be put into a sidebar (all alone or with all other link categories).
  • Messing with CSS is fun, if you know how to do it…but frustrating if you don’t. I’m of the camp – find a theme you like as-is or one that has cool Theme Options.
  • Last – the WordPress CODEX is great, so use it.

Web Search Engines

After you have spent time creating, updating, and improving your Library Web site to “Full on Fabulous,” maybe you want people to find and use it…

As a test, go to Google or Bing or Your Favorite Search Engine and look for your site.  Look for it as “Anytown Public Library” and “Anytown Library” and “Anytown Library Kansas” and any other combination of terms that a library seeker may use.  What do you find?  Are there other Anytown Public Library’s out there, say in another state, competing with your site?  Does your site appear on your City’s site, or some other referring site?

The easiest way to improve your results in Google and Yahoo! search engines is to register.  If you have changed or purchased a domain name for your site, you may want to register the new name.  Each search engine has an online form for submitting your Web site to their index:



Also, if you found in your initial testing that there is community or City site that refers to your site, make sure it is up-to-date.  Call, email, whatever it takes – your library Web site is an Amazing tool for promoting the library and you want to make sure people have the right address.

As librarians, we catalog and classify things.  How do we catalog and classify our Web site?  With metadata!  Depending on the WordPress Theme you use for your site, you may not have an easy way to add your own site description and keywords.  Luckily, there’s a plugin for that!

You can do a search for “metadata” from the Plugins section of your site’s dashboard or from the WordPress site.  That’s how I found and installed this:  Using this plugin, I added a site description and keywords to a KLOW site.

Out of curiosity, I did a simple search for ‘improve search engine results’ and came up with a few dated, but easy-to-read articles on the subject that might be of interest to you:

Again, out of further curiosity, I did a search for “library web site promotion” and found this interesting web-based, self-paced module on Library Marketing from the Ohio Library Council: Introduction to Marketing the Library :: Libraries on the Web Section

Let us know if you have found any interesting or unique ways to promote your library Web site!


Getting Started with KLOW

I am working on a series of Introductory screencast videos for folks new to KLOW and WordPress.  This post will be updated as new videos are ready for publication.  If you have questions or have feedback, please share in the comments!  Think of me as the Old Spice Guy – ask for a topic to be covered, and I will deliver a screencast video!

Outline for covering WordPress Basics for new libraries:

  • First Steps – Update password and information for “librarian” user | Managing additional users | Updating default Settings for the site
  • Basic Content – Overviews of Categories, link categories, tags, posts and pages
  • Customizing the Site – Overview of themes | Finding and installing new themes | Widgets and Sidebars
  • All about Images – Overview of Media Library | Web image tips and tricks | Creative Commons | Inserting images | Themes using ‘featured images’
  • Intermediate WordPress – Upgrading | Overview of plugins | Finding and installing plugins | Creative posts and pages using the Kitchen Sink, ordered and unordered lists, blockquotes, indents, justification | Embedding videos and slideshows from 3rd party sites (Flickr, Slideshare, etc.)
  • Web site Policies – Do you archive or delete old posts? Do you allow online registration? Do you have a photo release form? Do you post Board minutes and agendas? Do you post all of your policies on the site? Who is allowed to add, edit and delete content?

Quick and Dirty Videos (made with Jing! or Screencast-o-matic):

This just in from Liz’s blog reader: 10 WordPress Tutorial Sites to Brush Up Your Blogging Skills

Useful Instructions from the WordPress Codex:

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.