Overview of the Community Information Toolkit
The Toolkit consists of these components:
- Book: A 250 page book entitled Building a Community
Information Network: A Guidebook.
- Videos: A set of 4 video programs suitable for use
in training your community information network team.
- Training Materials: A series of Powerpoint presentations
that you can use as-is or with your own local modifications
- Software: A pair of demonstration applications: a
community calendar and a community forum.
The remainder of this page provides more details on how to
use each of these components of the Toolkit.
In addition to being available in electronic form, some components
of the Toolkit may also be available in other formats. For instance,
the videos may be available in VHS tape format. For the most
current information as to this potential availability, periodically
check the version of this page on the Web site.
Following is an overview of each of the Toolkit components,
and how best to use them.
Building a Community Information Network: A Guidebook
provides an introduction to building a community information
network as well as an overview of Web publishing in the community
The book is provided in MS-Word format (Word '97) and in Adobe
How you view the material is a matter of personal choice.
For instance, most readers of the guidebook will probably want
to print chapters for offline viewing. Readers may also want
to view some chapters online so as to see diagrams in color;
an example is Chapter 6, which includes sample color photographs.
Others may wish to adapt chapters or portions of chapters for
use in their own training projects (subject to the provisions
of the Toolkit copyright).
The Toolkit contains four videos published under the common
title of Building a Community Information Network: a Video
Introduction. They cover the following topics:
- Part 1: "Building a Community Information Network."
This is a half-hour video suitable for use as an introduction
and overview for a new community information team, for your content
providers, and for all stakeholders in your new project. Our
narrator introduces speakers who illuminate the potential of
community networking. Speakers include national experts in community
networking and Web publishing, including Steve Cisler, Lou Rosenfeld,
and Dr. Joan Durrance. Pioneering Community Information Network
sites in Michigan, including the Flint Public Library and the
Otsego County Public Library in Gaylord are represented as well.
- Part 2: "Beginning Webmastering: HTML and Inline
Images." An introduction to the Hypertext Markup Language,
HTML authoring tools, and use of inline images (photographs and
diagrams) in your Web site.
- Part 3: "Advanced Web Content Choices." An
overview of advanced Web content technologies such as ActiveX,
- Part 4: "Running a Web Server." An introduction
to the tasks and choices that face a site that chooses to run
its own Web server hardware and software.
The videos are provided in RealMedia format. You will need
to have the RealPlayer installed with your Web browser.
For your reference, the MS-PowerPoint slides used in the production
of the videos is also included.
The Toolkit training materials are a collection of PowerPoint
presentations that are suitable for use in face-to-face training
sessions. The training materials were developed as part of training
sessions for one of the Toolkit demonstration sites. You can
use the materials as-is, or adapt them to meet the particular
needs of your community information network team.
The training materials are provided in PowerPoint and in HTML
The Toolkit includes demonstration software for running a
community calendar and for supporting online community discussions.
The software is database-driven and is implemented as an Active
Server Pages (ASP) application that interfaces with a standard
database software pacakge such as Microsoft Access or SQL.
The Software section also provides complete, step-by-step
instructions on installing Windows NT, Microsoft Internet Information
Server (IIS), and the Toolkit demonstration applications.
The Toolkit software is suitable for use as-is, or a site
might choose to tailor the tool to meet its particular needs.
(Source code for the software is included.)
A Note on Browser Windows in This Site
When you click on a navigational button as shown on the left,
the relevant introductory content will load in the right hand
frame. For instance, when you click on the
button, this page, providing an Overview, appears.
When you click on a primary content item, such as a chapter
in the Book section or a presentation in the Training Materials
section, a new browser window will open with that content. This
allows your browser to devote as much screen space as possible
to the content. Simply close the new window when you are done
viewing the item.
Viewers for Toolkit Content
For your convenience, here are links to freely-downloadable
viewers for Toolkit content.
A Note Concerning Links
Throughout this Toolkit are links to various Web resources.
While we have tried to verify that links are active at time of
publication, it is inevitable that some Web links will change
or become inactive. If you discover a broken link, you may be
able to locate the content by using a search engine to specify
the title or key words related to the item you seek.
A Note Concerning Security
The Toolkit contains demonstration software and complete instructions
on installing Windows NT as a Web server environment. If you
should choose to run your own Community Information server, one
of the obligations you assume is security. Security requires
constant vigilance and could be the subject of its own toolkit.
Security management encompasses many areas, including:
- good password management
- virus detection
- log analysis (to ascertain possible attack attempts)
- installing firewalls or other server protection measures
- monitoring security announcement services such as CERT
If you choose to run your own server, be sure that proper
security measures are in place for that server and for your entire
A Note Concerning Y2K Issues
This Toolkit is delivered on the cups of the new millennium.
A project launched at this time needs to be sure server and authoring
softwre and hardware are Year 2000 ("Y2K") compliant.
Visit the Web sites of vendors of all your mission-critical components
in order to determine Y2K readiness.
All Toolkit components are copyrighted materials. Please read
and observe the copyright notice.