Public Service Center 25th Anniversary Site

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The MIT Public Service Center's 25th Anniversary site ( is an example of what can be done using Drupal Cloud's advanced tools to achieve a unique look and feel.

"To celebrate the PSC's 25th anniversary, we were looking for a site that would enable us to celebrate the collective impact of the MIT community through public service in a simple yet visually attractive way, while sticking to a limited budget," explained Kevin Leonardi, Communications Coordinator for the MIT Public Service Center. "The Drupal Cloud service was a great fit for this project -- since the service itself is free, a relatively small investment in design and custom development went a long way in ensuring we had the look and functionality we envisioned."

The central feature of the site is the presentation of 25 stories of public service in a grid of images on the home page, as well as a listing of those stories on an inside page. This was achieved using the MIT Adaptive theme along with three key features in Drupal Cloud: custom content types, views, and the CSS Injector module.

First, the site builder, an IS&T web developer, defined a custom content type for the feature stories, with fields for text, a main image, secondary images, optional videos, and a sorting order. He then created a view to display each story's feature image and title on the front page, and used CSS Injector to arrange the images and create the rollover effect.

He created a second view page to present a list of all of the feature stories, showing the title, text snippet, thumbnail, and link to the full story.

A second key feature of this site is the Share Your Story form. Using Drupal's webform feature, Leonardi solicits stories from the community about their experiences with public service, for possible future publication on the site.

"The service's content management system has absolutely made it easy to maintain the site," Leonardi said. "Adding and editing content is a breeze, particularly because of the custom content management menu and the user-friendly text editor. After managing a static HTML site, this system has been a very welcome change!"