Want to participate?
The Nebraska Libraries on the Web project is open to any public library in the state of Nebraska. Interested library directors should let us know via the contact link at the top of the page.
Here is some basic information on the commitment your library needs to make to participate in the project:
Your site will be built using WordPress. WordPress provides preformatted “themes” that allow for sites ranging from very basic to very detailed and complex. You’ll choose how much to change on your site. Some will simply want to add content, like photos of library events or information about new books. Others will decide to make changes to the look and feel of the site, altering colors or arrangement of items. WordPress allows you to get as involved with your site as you’d like and we’re always here to provide support if you run into any problems!
There is no monetary costs involved for participants. There will be time involved, however.
Training is provided in an online video format. Participants are expected to watch all of the available training videos (though not in a single sitting.) This is approximately 2 hours worth of material.
Outside of the training videos participants will need to spend approximately 5-10 hours over the next month preparing their site to go live. This time will be spent entering content into the site and choosing a theme (look and feel) for the site. Some previous participants have spent less time, but none have spent more that I’m aware of.
Once the website has gone live, participants are expected to write one blog post per week. So far, previous participants have thought that this might be too much work, but quickly discovered that it is much less work than it sounds. Anticipate spending maybe 10-15 minutes per week on this item. In many cases, your post can be published in much less time. Tips and tricks on how to perform this step will be provided during training and through this site.
Other periodic site maintenance will be needed from time to time. For example, if your hours change, you’ll need to update the hours listed on your site. In most cases, the amount of time needed to do this sort of work will be nominal.
Lastly, participants are expected to follow the blog on this site for project updates, training, and other general information. This should also take just a few minutes a week, depending on the content posted.
Your site’s URL
Your new Web site will generally have a URL in the following format: http://libraries.ne.gov/town. (See list of participating libraries for examples.) There is some flexibility in the URL you will be given and we’ll discuss that as part of setting up your site. However, we can not use any pre-existing URL that your library may already have. Instead, we will work with you for your old URL to redirect to the new URL.
What does the commission do?
We handle all the back end stuff. We run the server that’s housing both WordPress and your content. We update WordPress on an as-needed basis and handle all the backups which are done nightly. If you request additional features for your site, we install the needed software. Basically, you worry about the content and we keep everything running.
Please let me stress that if this sounds like a lot of work, it really isn’t. So far, no participant has been unable to find the necessary time. Yes, there’s a bit of work to do on the front end, and I’m here to help, but, after that, your site will pretty much run itself.
What about security issues?
The Internet presence of and online services offered by the Nebraska Library Commission continue to expand. In order to safeguard its computer equipment, network, and data from misuse, the agency blocks inbound access from ranges of IP addresses that have been the source of repeated malicious activity. The practical effect of this process over many years is that a large portion of the IP address space outside North America is blocked. Users in those areas are unable to view webpages and sites hosted on Nebraska Library Commission servers. This includes all libraries.ne.gov sites.
Need more info?
This 70 minute video covers the information on this page, along with more details on WordPress itself. Even if you don’t watch this video, we do recommend that you watch the Important URLs and Participant Expectations training video before signing up.