At today’s DUX brown-bag, we had a few questions about Drupal from folks who are curious about how it works “under the hood.” I’d like to offer a few resources that might be helpful for those who have that level of curiosity – with the reassurance that you do NOT have to understand much about Drupal in order to create and edit content on the new website, any more than you really have to understand how spark plugs work in order to drive your car.
So for your basic “what is Drupal?” question, the Wikipedia entry on Drupal is not a bad place to start. It gets fairly geeky, but it’s a good overview.
Another site to investigate is Drupal.org, the official site of Drupal and the Drupal community. The “About Drupal” page in particular is a good place to start. There’s a ton of information on the site, and it gives you a good sense of the scope of the community and how many people are using this platform worldwide.
For information specific to the library world, you can start with Colorado State University’s LibGuide – it has tons of resources and information related to the use of Drupal in libraries. Thanks, CSU!
The “Libraries” community on Drupal.org is fairly active though it is geared primarily for web developers and other geekish types rather than your average website content creator.
And finally, if you really want to get your geek on and take a class, UITS doesn’t currently offer anything on Drupal but you do have a couple of options. ALA offers an online course on “Using Drupal to Build Library Websites” which is currently closed but will be offered again in the future; I took this course some months ago and found it to be pretty well-organized and understandable. The Library Juice Academy is offering a similar “Introduction to Drupal for Libraries” class, which runs from June 1-28. Neither of these options is free, and both will probably give you way more than you really need to know in order to add content to our new site, but if you’re interested they are good learning opportunities. Lynda.com also has some Drupal modules; note that they offer training in both Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 – our site is being built using Drupal 7. One caveat for all of these learning options: our site is going to be customized for us, and the admin interface will probably look somewhat different from what you see in these courses and videos. But the basic concept of how a Drupal site works will still be there.
Questions? Please ask!