I’ve had this website bookmarked for quite some time now, after a colleague mentioned that it was one of the best public library websites he’d ever come across.
Ann Arbor Public Library is a real success story. Using Drupal, the free open source content management system, they’ve moved away from a dull static website to a fully integrated social networking model; complete with blogs, RSS feeds, event calendars, chat, groups, tagging, and of course a pretty impressive catalogue. And it seems to be working.
Check out Ellyssa’s presentation for yourself. She reports that to date Ann Arbour has received over 13,000 comments (12,000 of which were from teen users); they’re boasting 50,000 unique users and their page views have increased by 216%. Wow!
I hope they start up Drupal Camps in the UK so that we can work together to produce similar social networking websites for our public library users.