Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 2010 issue now online

The table of contents and linked articles for the June issue are at It can be accessed by all LITA members.

Editorial Board Thoughts: ITAL 2.0, by Andy Boze

Starting with the September 2008 issue of ITAL we launched ITALica, the ITAL blog at, as a pilot. ITALica was conceived as a forum for readers, authors, and editors of ITAL to discuss each issue. For a year and a half we’ve been open for reader feedback, and our authors have been posting to the blog and responding to reader comments. What’s your opinion of ITALica? Is it useful? What could we be doing to enhance its usefulness?

Usability Studies of Faceted Browsing: A Literature Review, by Jody Condit Fagan

Faceted browsing is a common feature of new library catalog interfaces. But to what extent does it improve user performance in searching within today’s library catalog systems? This article reviews the literature for user studies involving faceted browsing and user studies of “next-generation” library catalogs that incorporate faceted browsing. Both the results and the methods of these studies are analyzed by asking, What do we currently know about faceted browsing? How can we design better studies of faceted browsing in library catalogs? The article proposes methodological considerations for practicing librarians and provides examples of goals, tasks, and measurements for user studies of faceted browsing in library catalogs.

Reducing Psychological Resistance to Digital Repositories. by Brian Quinn

The potential value of digital repositories is dependent on the cooperation of scholars to deposit their work. Although many researchers have been resistant to submitting their work, the literature on digital repositories contains very little research on the psychology of resistance. This article looks at the psychological literature on resistance and explores what its implications might be for reducing the resistance of scholars to submitting their work to digital repositories. Psychologists have devised many potentially useful strategies for reducing resistance that might be used to address the problem; this article examines these strategies and how they might be applied.

Web Services and Widgets for Library Information Systems, by Godmar Back and Annette Bailey

As more libraries integrate information from web services to enhance their online public displays, techniques that facilitate this integration are needed. This paper presents a technique for such integration that is based on HTML widgets. We discuss three example systems (Google Book Classes, Tictoclookup, and MAJAX) that implement this technique. These systems can be easily adapted without requiring programming experience or expensive hosting.

TUTORIAL: On the Clouds: A New Way of Computing, by Yan Han

This article introduces cloud computing and discusses the author’s experience “on the clouds.” The author reviews cloud computing services and providers, then presents his experience of running multiple systems (e.g., integrated library systems, content management systems, and repository software). He evaluates costs, discusses advantages, and addresses some issues about cloud computing. Cloud computing fundamentally changes the ways institutions and companies manage their computing needs. Libraries can take advantage of cloud computing to start an IT project with low cost, to manage computing resources cost-effectively, and to explore new computing possibilities.

The New User Environment: The End of Technical Services?, by Bradford Lee Eden

"Technical Services: an obsolete term used to describe the largest component of most library staffs in the twentieth century. That component of the staff was entirely devoted to arcane and mysterious processes involved in selecting, acquiring, cataloging, processing, and otherwise making available to library users physical material containing information content pieces (incops). The processes were complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, and generally served to severely limit direct service to users both by producing records that were difficult to understand and interpret, even by other library staff, and by consuming from 75–80 percent of the library’s financial and personnel resources. In the twenty-first century, the advent of new forms of publication and new techniques for providing universal records and universal access to information content made the organizational structure obsolete. That change in organizational structure, more than any other single factor, is generally credited as being responsible for the dramatic improvement in the quality of library service that has occurred in the first decade of the twenty-first century."