Michael Sauers, Technology Innovation Librarian, Nebraska Library Commission, presented his interesting experiences in using WordPress to provide small Nebraska libraries with a web presence.
Nebraska does not have many people, and many of its counties have a population density of less than 1 person per square mile. Many libraries are one-person libraries only open a few hours a week. There are no library districts in the state, and many libraries had no web presence at all. These were invited to participate in a project to use WordPress to create websites. The project was successful; sites for over 35 libraries are active, and 23 more are waiting to be implemented.
Michael created training videos for all the major functions of WordPress, and about half of the libraries have found these sufficient to use the system. (Click hereto see a list of the libraries ow active.) This system empowers libraries to create their site. Backups and upgrades done centrally–libraries only need to worry about getting their content up. Michael does all the technical support; the personal approach makes the project of value to participants.
This is an example of a way to use existing free tools to empower small libraries to promote their services to their users, especially those in remote areas.