At the Ref Desk (6/27/15): Start of the day and already the weirdest question (by phone): 'What's the phone number of The Library of Congress​?' [more...]
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Website of the Month

Site of the Month

Site Launch: GermaniaBroadcast.net

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 6/3/15 (4:00pm)

Today was the official launch date of GermaniaBroadcast.net. I announced it on all the usual social networks.

It's actually been up for maybe a month -- with me fiddling around, adding content, rearranging it and the like. I guess, an alternative name for the thing could be, "Fun with Drupal and Content Management".

The site is built around various digital records that we have of daddy, William Klein and his radio show, "The Germania Broadcast" (1927-1970). Working with the data, I managed to organize everything into four principle categories, Events, People, Places and Library (or 'Documents').

The neat thing with Drupal is how you can connect one item in one category with items in any other. Say, the name of a singer pops up in the description of a concert in 1928 which happened at the Auditorium Theater; You can relate the person to the event and location going backwards and forward. The magic is called "Entity Reference" but again, I like to call it, 'Fun with Content Mgmt".

In any case, there's a slightly fuller explanation of the original radio broadcast plus background here: The Germania Broadcast : An Introduction.

New Web Design for UIC's Office of Academic & Enrollment Services (AES).

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 7/19/12 (6:58pm)

I'm kind of pooped having spent a fun morning at Dominican University with the "Chicagoland Drupal in Libraries" group. I then hustled back to UIC (thanks Gwen for the lift!) where I had the usual list of web editing chores. I also had enough time to upload this baby:

http://admissions.uic.edu

This marks the final phase of a redesign that I've been working on since the beginning of the year -- spurred on by two requirements:

  1. fresh new look
  2. gots to work on mobile

Happily, 'responsive web design' came along right at the time I was tackling this project. (What's 'responsive design' you ask? When looking at the above page, slowly make the window more narrow. Then go back out. That's responsive design.)

Anyway, I still had to do the 'landing pages'. This one, the Admissions page, is the first of four.

But back to my itinerary: At around 5:15pm, I left UIC and headed over to DePaul for a couple of hours of 'Fun @ the Reference Desk'. It was a relatively quiet night. In Summer, Reference closes an hour earlier (i.e. at 8pm instead of 9pm) so I made it back home before 9pm.

In any case, as I said, long day -- productive just the same.

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Redesign of UIC Admissions & Records Website

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/4/11 (11:29am)

As if I didn't have enough to do over the holidays (see below), I redesigned the website template for UIC's Office of Admissions & Records.

Basically what I did was to bring the thing into compliance with the University's new top-level website which they changed at the beginning of the school year.

The holidays are always a great time to do something like this (since basically no one's looking) so you can believe I worked my butt off to get this done on time.

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New Website: SchoolRiseUSA.com

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 10/31/10 (11:39pm)
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I'm pleased -- not to mention a bit relieved -- to announce the launch of the new website for the organization, SchoolRise USA. SchoolRise USA is a group of educators spread throughout the United States who work with elementary schools to improve student literacy.

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Screencast on News & Blog Server

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 9/1/10 (9:07am)
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I put together a screencast about our News & Blog server for UIC's Office of Admissions & Records:

http://www.oar.uic.edu/circle

The server runs on Drupal and currently supports 5 different Blogs & News services. Built into the system is a publication workflow consisting of 'Authors' who create content and 'Editors' who give that content final approval. All comments are moderated and easily accessed on one page through a special 'Dashboard' utility.

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New Website: UIC Office of Admissions & Records

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/2/10 (10:29am)
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So the site I've been losing sleep over for the past couple of weeks months is finally up. I had set a deadline for the beginning of the year and, by golly, I made it -- even if the thing kind of put a damper on my holiday activities: http://oar.uic.edu

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New Website: CitizenAction-IL.org

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 11/30/09 (10:12am)
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Here's something I launched in between bites of turkey over the weekend: http://www.CitizenAction-IL.org

It's for a great statewide organization that's very active in health care reform among other things.

Basically I took what they already had -- essentially a site consisting of links and pdf files -- and completely automated the thing so that in-house staff can add content themselves rather than sending it out to a web specialist.

SaveIllinoisLibraries.com

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 10/21/09 (4:18pm)
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You know it's bad news when the FAQs start with:

"The budget for the state of Illinois is in a shambles."

I came upon it fresh from an article on Library Journal with the ominous title:

LJ's 2009 Placements & Salaries Survey Shows Tough Library Job Market

Anyway, back to the Illinois site. The FAQ continues:

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Tribune Launches Much Improved Site Redesign

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/10/09 (10:49am)
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It's 2009 and the Chicago Tribune has only now figured out what it takes to design a website. Still, you have to hand it to them, it's a vast improvement over the previous iteration. They even went back to the old letterhead.

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PLAspace.org - Official Launch

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 9/15/08 (1:47pm)

Okay, today was the official launch of the new community site that I've been working on for the Public Library Association: PLAspace.org

The announcement reads:

Today marks another milestone in the rollout of PLAspace. We officially open the doors to new CoPs and new participants.

We created PLAspace to give Public Library Association members a place where they could share ideas and work together on common interests. Today, the first official day for the site, we already have several dozen members and a half-dozen CoPs.

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