June 2012 Bar Bulletin
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June 2012 Bar Bulletin

Connecting with the Law Library's New Website

By Kim Ositis
Reference Services Librarian


On May 1, the Law Library unveiled a completely revamped library website at www.kcll.org. The website is the library's main connection to our virtual patrons.

The new website is built on an open-source content management system called Drupal. Open source means that it uses freely accessible software that is constantly updated by the developers in the Drupal community. A content management system, or CMS, is a fancy way of saying that information (content) is stored in a database, instead of flat HTML files.

Many people are familiar with the blogging software called Wordpress. Drupal is like Wordpress, but on steroids. It incorporates the ease of content authoring by non-technical users (like Wordpress), but offers much more flexibility for adding new features in the future, such as eCommerce and online class reservations. PHP and MySQL form the technical underpinnings of Drupal.

My favorite feature of the new site is the ability to tag content with subject terms - Drupal calls it taxonomy. For example, when we enter a new web link - let's say it's a link about how the tort claim procedure works in King County - our content editor fills out a simple form that includes fields for the URL for the web link, a brief description and taxonomy terms, such as Administrative Law, Includes Forms, and Representing Yourself.

Drupal allows us to use those taxonomy terms to reorder our content in multiple ways. Patrons can access our collection of more than 100 web links in several different places on the new website.

The Web Links tab from the main page goes to an alphabetical listing of links. Select By Jurisdiction or By Topic from the drop-down menu to see a filtered list. To browse by topic, click on the Topics tab to see a topical index that allows access to all of the content on our site by topic; that includes web links, podcasts, research guides, blog posts and more. Visitors can also add and remove taxonomy terms within the topical index to expand or narrow the results.

We are excited to roll out the new design. Please take a tour and let us know what you think. Look for a link to a quick SurveyMonkey survey from the front page.


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