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LibNet migration to Drupal

Chris Carrington4 November 2019

On Tuesday 5th November, our LibNet Intranet site is being migrated from the current Content Management System, Silva, into the UCL’s new CMS, Drupal.

Throughout the day LibNet should be considered “at risk” and there may be periods of downtime for the site.

What’s changed?

Essentially, only the mechanics behind the site have changed and the pages will look very much like their current state. The migration is not a redesign.

However, the authentication in Drupal is different so you may notice changes in logging in to the site. For example, the home page does not require a login. Also, PDFs and Word documents have been moved into a new SharePoint area which requires a separate UCL login. All links have been updated where relevant.

The move to Drupal should also see better performance of the site and end the recent outages we’ve seen.

Reporting problems

Should you notice any problems on Tuesday there is no need to report them. We expect the site to run normally from Wednesday 6th November. From Wednesday if you experience any problems using the site, please report them to lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Updating web pages

Assigning author rights to colleagues will be reviewed in due course. For the time being, if you require an update to your LibNet pages please email lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

New menu for public library website

Robert Drinkall30 April 2019

You may have spotted recently that the public library website has a new left hand menu.

This is because ISD Digital Presence has redesigned the menu for its Drupal content management system. The library website uses Drupal, and so has adopted the new menu automatically.

The main difference between the old and new menus, and the reasons for the change, is explained here by Digital Presence:

The previous scheme of displaying parent pages, sibling pages (pages at the same level) and children pages (sub-pages) in one long list on the left menu created confusion and very poor usability. The menu view on mobile was especially problematic.

The new menu displays children pages at the top level with any related sub-pages underneath. On mobile, a breadcrumb trail now appears below the corporate masthead.

To see a visual illustration of how the new menu changes as you navigate through the opening hours pages (on a PC), please see the image below.

When the new menu was introduced, the Web Team had to make various adjustments to make it display correctly for our site. We think it’s configured in the right way now, but if you do spot anything around it which doesn’t look right, please let us know via lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Image showing new Drupal menu and sub menus for public library website

Example of new Drupal menu and sub menus on public library website



Why is the A-Z no longer available on the library website?

Robert Drinkall13 November 2018

Since the library website moved to Drupal last week, we’ve had some queries about why there’s no A-Z index any more.

To answer this question, we discussed the A-Z with ISD Digital Presence staff during the migration project, and they don’t consider using an A-Z to index the content of a site to be good practice because:

  • It’s limited (there is no space for teasers or explanation of link titles as with standard web content)
  • It’s not that intuitive especially for new users of the website – they need to first know the names of services/content areas in order to find them
  • It adds a layer of duplication to web content management processes and the duplication of navigation can cause confusing user journeys for website end-users
  • Not being intrinsically linked to the structure of the site means that broken links can be a common problem
  • It’s not something that Drupal could support at the moment and for the reasons outlined above we don’t have plans to do this

So, for these reasons, I’m afraid the A-Z is no longer available.

If there are particular pages you visit regularly, we recommend using browser bookmarks / favourites instead. Please do also feel free to highlight any areas of navigation you were using the A-Z for especially (via lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk), so we can take these into account during any future redesign process.



Update: goodbye Silva, hello Drupal – new CMS for the library website launching 7th November

Robert Drinkall2 November 2018

In early October, I published a blog post about the new Drupal version of the public library website going live the week of the 5th November. I can now confirm that the switch to Drupal will happen on Wednesday 7th November.

The new Drupal site has been created by running a script against the current website, which isn’t possible to do without some things not coming across quite right. Since the site was created, the Web Team has been working hard to check as many pages as possible before launch for errors, but because the library website is so large, you may find the occasional broken link or formatting issue we’ve missed, which needs correcting. If you do, please can you contact lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk with the details so we can see to the problem(s), for which thanks in advance.

In terms of training, we’re currently identifying some initial candidates for an ISD Drupal session, with the likelihood that further training will then be cascaded / taken in-house. This does mean that when the new site goes live next week, requests for content changes will initially need to be sent to lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk, rather than content owners being able to edit their own material, until training has taken place.

Finally, thanks again for your patience with the extended content freeze.

Update: goodbye Silva, hello Drupal – new CMS for the library website

Robert Drinkall3 October 2018

At the end of July, we circulated a post about the library website moving from Silva to UCL’s new Content Management System, Drupal.

Unfortunately, for unforseen reasons, the launch of the new Drupal version of the site has had to be delayed, and is now scheduled for the week of 5th November 2018.

We apologise for this, and appreciate it means a much longer content freeze than orginally publicised. As per our previous post, the web team will be able to access Silva until the Drupal switchover, so any urgent updates can still be made, e.g. news items, opening hours, changes to service. Please send these to lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Information about training on Drupal will follow.

Thanks again for your patience.

Goodbye Silva, hello Drupal – new CMS for the library website

Chris Carrington30 July 2018

This summer the Library Services public website will be migrating to UCL’s new Content Management System called Drupal, as part of ISD’s project to replace the current system, Silva.

The next step of the migration will be to have a snapshot of the website taken and used to form a sandbox site for testing. In order to do this, there will be no Silva editing from 3pm on Friday 3rd August, effective for up to 2 weeks.

During this content freeze, the web team will still be able to access Silva so any urgent updates can still be made, e.g. news items, changes to service. Please send these to lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk

Leading up to this, we kindly ask Silva authors to send any approval requests by Thursday 2nd August to ensure we can get the changes published before the content freeze.

We thank you in advance for your patience and further progress on the migration will be posted in due course.