Below are my notes for the Poster that I will be presenting at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on July 13, 2009.
Who was surveyed and when?
- Libraries that are using Drupal for their web site or planning to use Drupal for their website were surveyed from May 1, 2009 to June 15, 2009.
- 71 libraries completed the survey.
Type of Library
- Academic libraries represented the largest group with 37 University, College, or Community College libraries responding.
- 26 Public Libraries responded.
- The remainder of the libraries were made up of a vendor, a consortium, Government, Special, School, and Medical Libraries.
- More than half of libraries were using Static HTML with some dynamic content for their web sites.
- Libraries using only Static HTML or Static HTML with dynamic content make up more than two-thirds of the libraries that responded to the survey.
- Libraries using a homegrown CMS were the next largest group.
When was Drupal implemented?
- Of the libraries that responded, the bulk of the libraries were either still in development or had implemented Drupal more than a year ago.
- Libraries who responded could be broken down into 3 nearly equal categories:
- Libraries who had implemented more than a year ago.
- Libraries who had implemented during the previous year, and
- Libraries still in development.
- CCK and Views, Classification, Search, and Syndication/Aggregation are the most popular functions according to respondents to the survey.
- Public and Academic libraries generally agreed about how popular each function was.
- Notable exceptions
- User-contributed content which 8 public libraries had implemented versus 3 Academic libraries
- Multi-user and Personal blogs (14 Public v. 6 Academic)
- Rich text editing (20 Academic v. 10 Public).
How hard were these tasks?
- “Learning Drupal”, “Changing the site’s look and feel”, and “Module Selection” were reported as the most difficult tasks in Drupal.
- “Creating and marking up content”, “Configuring access rights”, and “Installing Drupal” were reported as the least difficult tasks in Drupal.
- “Getting help in the forums” and “Contributing to Drupal” were also rated as relatively easy.
- “Finding skilled Drupal Developers”, “Finding skilled Drupal Designers”, and “Finding good documentation” were reported as challenges.
- In general, Drupal was rated relatively easy
- No task was reported as difficult by more than 50% of the libraries.
- 3 tasks (“Creating and marking up content”, “Configuring access rights”, and “Installing Drupal”) were reported as easy by more than 50% of the library.
- Close to 80% of the libraries reported “Creating and marking up content” as easy.
Who is responsible?
- The Academic libraries who responded to the survey split almost evenly between having a single person responsible for the use/implementation of Drupal and having the Library’s IT department take responsibility.
- Public libraries were more than twice as likely to have a single person assume responsibility for the use/implementation of Drupal over having a Library IT department take responsibility. This may reflect the availability of an IT department in the library more than any preference.
- Similarly, assigning responsibility to a Committee or Task force was nearly twice as likely in an Academic library than in a Public library.
- Assigning responsibility to a Committee/Task force was reported by one-third as many Public Libraries as reported that a single person had responsibility.
- Academic libraries reported assigning a Committee/Task force responsibility half as often as an individual.
- The steep learning curve of Drupal was the by far the most frequently mentioned challenge in implementing and using Drupal.
- Concerns about staff resistance, staff understanding of the new architecture, and lack of communication were also common themes in the responses.
- Decentralizing the content, ease of updating content and freeing up the time of the programmer/webmaster were frequently mentioned as benefits of using Drupal.
- Many libraries also mentioned increased functionality for their web site as a benefit of using Drupal.