What is Library à la Carte?
1. What is Library à la Carte?
Library à la Carte is software that lets librarians build customized Web pages by choosing exactly what they want from a menu of choices. With this tool, any librarian can build a course Webpage, assignment tip sheet or subject guide in minutes without writing a single line of HTML. It is a content management system that makes integrating Web 2.0 features, chat and RSS feeds, etc. with traditional library content, such as catalogs and article databases into Web pages a snap.
2. What can I create with it?
You can create course assignment or tip pages, subject research or general library guides, and online research or assignment tutorials from reusable modules, the building blocks in Library à la Carte.
Choose from Library à la Carte modules: Librarian Profile, Comments, RSS Feeds, Multi-Media Widgets, Custom Content, Databases, Course Reserves, Instructor Profile, Attachments, Web Links, Catalog Books, YouTube Videos, Quizzes and Images.
3. Why Library à la Carte?
If you want out-of-the box subject and course guide creation and management. If you have found that other CMS's are "overkill" for what you need. If you want to be free of subscription costs and vendor lock down. If you want complete control over the layout and appearance of the site. If you want to own your data and add your own functionality and you know how to do it. That is, if you want an easy to use tool that is ready to use, customizable and extensible then Library à la Carte might be for you.
4. What knowledge do I need to create Guides?
To create and manage guides day to day, all you need to know is basic computer and internet skills. If you are familiar with online forms and Microsoft Word you typically can be productive in no time at all. Content is created in our easy to use Word-like editor. No HTML or other coding is needed.
5. What knowledge do I need to install Library à la Carte?
To install, you should have a basic understanding of:
- Creating Databases, and backing up / restoring databases
- Working with, and transferring files to a remote host
- Manipulating permissions on remote hosts
- A basic understanding of HTML and CSS
- Diagnosing errors
- An ability to learn independently, and do some research on your own.
6. How much does Library à la Carte cost?
Library à la Carte does not charge any licensing fees for using our software. Licensed as a GNU GPL project, the only costs you'll directly incur are those you choose, such as servers, services and bandwidth.
7. What are the technical requirements?
- MySQL Database
- Apache HTTP Server
- RMagick Graphics Interface
- ReCaptcha Key
- Recaptcha Gem
- Google API Key
8. How can I help?
Actually, there are a number of ways that you can help in this effort. These include:
- As we move towards our vision of creating a open source community around Library à la Carte, we are going to be creating the means by which you can help code and implement new features in the program. These can either be formal agreements or informal situations where you download the source code and add features that you would like to see included in the project. Please note that we will be providing application and database documentation as well as guidelines within which you will need to work to make certain that what you write will work with what everyone else does. We will be publishing more on this in the near future
- You can give us input on what works and features you would like to see.
- As the development team comes up with new ideas for Library à la Carte, give your thought, feedback, and an idea of how valuable you think a particular feature would be
- Visiting the forums and answer posts by other users to questions that you may have already solved.
- We can always use design expertise with in the creation of templates or CSS
- Sharing user documentation that you have used
- Doing usability testing on Library à la Carte releases. This will be particularly valuable as we move into community development efforts