Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the creation of a content management system (CMS) for the Kent State University Libraries & Media Services web site. It describes the requirements for the site and for the CMS, the CMS architecture and components. Design/methodology/approach – This paper describes the genesis and architecture of a locally-written CMS that is strongly focused on metadata. Findings – A review of local, library-specific needs combined with a review of the product universe resulted in the decision to write a local CMS. Practical implications – Includes enumerated goals and requirements for a database-driven and metadata-focused web site. Originality/value – Describes the creation of tools for data management in a locally-written CMS.