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Using Drupal to Build Library Websites eCourse
Ken Varnum
Item Number: 1541-8861
Publisher: ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions
Price: $250.00
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This eCourse is now closed. We plan on offering the eCourse again soon. If you’d like to an email alert when we schedule the next session, please complete this form.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning February 1, 2016 and continuing for 6 weeks
An ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions eCourse facilitated by Ken Varnum

Please note: Your purchase at the ALA Store is only Step 1 of a 2-Step Registration process!

Upon purchase you will receive a registration PDF in the form of a digital download. This PDF contains a link to our Registration page and a password. You must download this PDF and follow the instructions in order to complete the registration. The download link can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account History. Confirmation with login instructions, reminders, and alerts will go to the email address used in the registration.

This eCourse is licensed for a single user. For pricing on bulk purchases in excess of $1,000, please contact us for more information.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30
Certificate of Completion available upon request

Learning outcomes:
  • Functional knowledge of Drupal
  • Ability to build basic websites
  • Experience in developing a fully-functional Drupal website
  • Knowledge of resources for expanding the functionality of a Drupal-based library website

Drupal is an open source content management tool that allows users to build complex websites without extensive programming, making it perfect for library websites. In this introductory eCourse, librarian, consultant and Drupal expert Ken Varnum will guide participants in building an attractive, functional library website using Drupal. This eCourse will focus on Drupal 8, while highlighting what is still applicable to Drupal 7. Whether the objective is a simple site or full-service digital branch, this eCourse will give participants the know-how to get a library website up and running. This is an introductory course and will focus on what can be accomplished through the administrative interface. No coding experience required.  The test website will be hosted on a server for six months after the eCourse to facilitate additional learning.

eCourse Outline

  • Getting Started
    • What is a CMS?
    • Why Drupal?
    • Installing Drupal
    • Minimal Config
  • Making your first post
    • Anatomy of a Post (Node)
    • Basic Settings
    • Fields
    • Display Settings
    • Teasers
  • Content Types
    • Creating Content Types
    • Adding Fields
  • Extending Functionality
    • What is a module?
    • Installing Modules
    • Key Modules
  • Look and Feel
    • Installing Themes
    • Anatomy of a Page (Regions)
    • Placing Content (blocks)
  • Organization and Display
    • Taxonomy
    • Advanced Content Fields
    • Views
      • What are Views?
      • Anatomy of Views
      • Types of Views
      • Building Views
      • Theming Output
    • Advanced Views
  • Case Study: Blog/News Feed
  • Case Study: Calendar
  • Case Study: Photo Gallery

How this eCourse Works

The eCourse begins on February 1, 2016. Your participation will require approximately five hours a week, at times that fit your schedule. There are no live sessions. All activities take place on the website, and you will be expected to
  • Read, listen to or view online content
  • Post to online discussion boards
  • Complete weekly assignments or activities
Instructor Ken Varnum will monitor discussion boards regularly during the six-week period, lead group discussions, and will also answer individual questions. All interaction will take place on the eCourse site, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's recommended that students log into the site on February 1 or within a few days for an overview of the content and to begin the first lesson.
User Requirements

Participants will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message boards participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (mp3 files), and downloading and viewing PDFs and PowerPoint files. ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions eCourses are fully compatible with Windows and MacOs.

At Your Service

Accommodations are offered based on user needs. For transcription or other accessibility requests, please contact us at

About the Instructor

Ken Varnum is the Senior Program Manager for Discovery, Delivery, and Learning Analytics at the University of Michigan Library. Ken's research and professional interests include discovery systems, content management, and user-generated content. From 2007-2015 he was the Web Systems Manager at the U-M Library, where he managed the library's Drupal-driven website. He wrote "Drupal in Libraries" (2012) and edited "The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know" (2014) and "The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and Networks" (2014). His next book, "Exploring Discovery: The Front Door to a Library’s Licensed and Digitized Content" will be published in 2016. He blogs at and can be found on Twitter at @varnum.

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