LibData to LibCMS: One library's evolutionary pathway to a content management system

Paul F. Bramscher, John T Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose - The University of Minnesota Libraries have developed and implemented LibCMS, an open architecture content management system (CMS) that combines with the previously-built LibData system to meet the web page publishing and site management needs of a large research library. The purpose of this paper is to present overall observations about CMSs and their implementation, and details the requirements and design of LibCMS. Design/methodology/approach - The system's development followed an evolutionary path moving from a modest data repository, to a large system with a three-tiered web page authoring environment, and now to a CMS with site-level management capability. This work leaned on abstract tree structures to manage navigational hierarchy both within and between pages. Methods were developed to represent tree architecture in an RDBMS while economizing traversal and maintenance of nodes. Findings - Developing the CMS locally ensured that design followed the requirements of a large academic library environment and its service/ business model. This also allowed the implementation to be an organic extension of existing authoring tools in the environment rather than the potentially disruptive incorporation of a new system. Research limitations/implications - Architectural problems encountered here have traditionally been treated outside of library and information science. The challenge both in implementation and in research has been to bridge gaps between computer science and applied technologies in libraries. Practical implications - Implementations of open source, library-oriented CMSs could, over time, open the door to community software development and distribution efforts. Originality/value - This paper uniquely details the rationale and design of a library-oriented, open architecture CMS, built to interoperate with a large, content repository.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-28
Number of pages15
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 17 2006


  • Content management
  • Libraries
  • Open systems

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