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!

Content Ideas Library News Tutorial

Add a Slideshow

Corning City Library has a really great photo slideshow in their sidebar that they created using an online service called Slide (they used another online product a few years ago, but like this one better.)

To create this, you can sign up for a free account or just start arranging a slideshow.  You can pull photos from your computer, a Flickr account, photobucket, FaceBook or elsewhere.  There are easy-to-follow instructions on the screen for customizing and re-sizing your slideshow, and then ‘saving’ the show.

Along with ‘saving’ your work, you are given options for where and how to share your slideshow.  If you want the slideshow to appear in a sidebar of your site, I recommend skipping down to the ‘Can’t find what you’re looking for’ link to get the HTML embed code you will need to put into a text widget.  Pretty easy and neat looking.

Here’s an updated example featuring my attempt at a garden.  I sized this at 150 pixels wide to fit in a sidebar, you can chose a larger size if you want this to appear in a Post or on a Page of your site:

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.
Content Ideas Tutorial

Adding a Flickr Slideshow

Maybe you saw the lovely slideshow at the Kansas Library Express site?  Heather Braum and Carolyn Little figured out how to do that last night in the NEKLS training lab.

How they did it:

  1. Went to the Kansas Library Express Flickr account
  2. From the Photostream, they opened up certain pictures and clicked “Actions” and “Add To Set” and created a new Set called ‘July 2010 Courier Photos’
    (OK, I don’t know immediately how to get into the nekls Flickr account, so I’m going to use screenshots from my personal account – the buttons and links are all located in the same places.)
  3. From the Photostream, they opened that Set by clicking on “Sets” and then selected “July 2010 Courier Photos”
  4. Now, up in the right corner in gray text is a link called “Slideshow” – they clicked that!
  5. This opened the slideshow in their Web browser.  To share that in a post on a WordPress blog, they clicked “Share
  6. For a KLOW site, they needed to embed the HTML code into a Post using the HTML editor, so they selected “Copy to Clipboard” under the ‘Grab the embed HTML’ and took this information back to the Kansas Library Express site and pasted it into the empty post!
    (This illustration shows the difference between a site and a, or KLOW, site).

OK, so I’m confident in your ability to open a new post, select the HTML tab to open the HTML editor and ‘ctrl+v’ (paste) in that code that is on your computer clipboard.

I look forward to seeing more embedded Flickr slideshows!

Picking WordPress Themes for KLOW

Finding the right visual look for your website can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are many sites that host WordPress themes that are compatible with our system here. A few key words to look for when you are looking at a theme:

  • Widget ready – so you can drag and drop your widgets!
  • WordPress 2.0+ compatible (we’re using WordPress 2.0/2.1)
  • Available in a .zip file
  • Look for themes that aren’t too thematic or artistic. Sometimes it’s quite challenging to modify a theme to your specifications when it is very graphic intensive.
  • Stick to familiar layouts, 2, 3 and 4 column layouts all seem to work very well with not too much fuss.

Some sites to consider when looking at themess: – features themes that are widget ready – he tries to do a theme a day, and some are very good. – lets you search on particular criteria, such as color, widget ready, prominent colors, etc.

Have Fun!