When you look at the UM Libraries (UML) homepage, you may not realize all the components at work behind the scenes. At first glance, you probably notice a nice, big search box that is used to find library materials, a header filled with buttons that help you navigate to other pages, the scrolling thumbnail images and headlines near the footer, to name few. What you don’t see are the several instances of WordPress, a tool to create blog posts and pages, that power the UML site.

One use of WordPress is to promote our UML news, including events, exhibitions, programs, and resources. As we embark on this redesign, we want to think about how we can share that news with our community more effectively. Since 2011, we have been sharing our news using the blogging capabilities offered by WordPress. While our WordPress site has successfully handled the integration of various systems that are vital to our end-users’ experience (e.g., the library catalog and subject guides), we’ve decided to align with University Communications and migrate our news stories from WordPress to their chosen platform for news-related online publications, which will be highly advantageous for us in reaching our audience.

Kristie Curier interviews Linda Eads Sample news on Cascade Server: Kristie Curier, executive producer of UMTV’s NewsVision, interviews Linda Eads, a UM alumna and one of the artists whose textile quilt is featured in the exhibit Piecing Together A Changing Planet, on display at Richter Library through April 7. Learn more. Photo by Andrew Innerarity.

UM Communications uses Cascade, another content management system, to run the University website and also as their news publishing platform. Since the launch of the University news site, two news subsites that showcase the School of Architecture, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies have gone live, with more in development.

School of Architecture News Subsite School of Architecture News Subsite
School of Nursing and Health Studies News Subsite School of Nursing and Health Studies News Subsite

By migrating to Cascade, UML news will appear on a subsite that will exclusively feature UML content and will be in dialogue with the University news site. Other advantages to creating a UML news site on Cascade include:

  • Increased visibility of UML news items, across campus and the community-at-large
  • Greater possibility/likelihood of UML news items being “picked up” or featured on the University’s news site
  • Ability (via RSS) to identify pertinent news items from Cascade new sites and feature them on the forthcoming redesigned UML website

Next Steps

This migration project is part of the redesign process for the UML website. It will be managed primarily by members of the Web & Application Development and Library Communications teams, who will soon have the opportunity to receive training on how to use Cascade. We can start populating our news subsite with UML stories, aiming to go live on Cascade sometime this summer. We hope to develop a new workflow internally for creating, editing, and publishing content. Additionally, we hope to align our news content, structure, and stories with University goals and best practices.