I’m considering switching our library’s website to WordPress in our next redesign so I’ve been doing a lot of research in that area. I recently acquired two fantastic books on how to use WordPress in libraries and I wanted to share my thoughts on these.
The Comparative Guide to WordPress in Libraries
by Amanda L. Goodman
This great new book just came out in January 2014 and is a concise primer on using WordPress in libraries. Goodman takes the time to introduce the reader to the software, discussing the pros and cons, the different choices available for hosting vs. self-hosting, and the competition. The first half of the book discusses all of the ins and outs of WordPress, defining terms such as themes, plugins, shortcodes, etc. I appreciated the discussion of the differences between pages and posts. The second 100 pages of the book consist of case studies of WordPress installations in all types of libraries including; academic, public, school media, government & law, special libraries, as well as archives and library associations. This book is an excellent introduction to all things WordPress and libraries.
Learning from Libraries that Use WordPress
by Kyle M.L. Jones and Polly-Alida Farrington
This title is a clear and comprehensive guide to the use of WordPress in libraries. Although this book discusses how to get started with WordPress, it goes on to provide much more for advanced readers (including code snippets!) than most books on the topic. There’s a fantastic and detailed discussion of widgets and plugins with plenty of screenshots, advice on setting up a workflow structure for content creation through plugins, and even instructions for how to set up child themes! I loved the Guest Pieces section of the book which discussed using WordPress in non-traditional ways such as creating dynamic subject guides and digital archives. This is a must-read for any librarian setting up a WordPress site.
I would highly recommend reading both of these books if you’re getting started with WordPress as they each have great gems of wisdom to offer.