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New Issue of Information Technology and Libraries

New Issue of Information Technology and Libraries

The September 2023 issue marks the first at our new URL, https://ital.corejournals.org/. After more than a decade of generous sponsorship by Boston College, Information Technology and Libraries is now hosted by ALA Production Services. From the reader perspective, very little other than the domain name has changed. Most links to pages and articles at the earlier site (https://ejournals.bc.edu/index.php/ital) redirect to their new locations, as do DOIs for already published articles. However, if you spot anything that seems off, please let us know!

In July, ITAL’s Editorial Board began meeting with its new cohort. We welcome Cindi Blyberg, Joanna DiPasquale, John Klima, Ellen Schmid, and Le Yang to the Editorial Board and are excited to have them join us. The Board’s focus over the next few months will be to review and update the journal’s mission statement to make sure that it reflects the audiences we hope to reach and the range of topics that are of most interest to readers. We will be providing updates over the coming issues. Rest assured that the focus of the journal—the intersection of technology and libraries and other cultural memory institutions—will remain at the forefront.

In this Issue

Peer-reviewed articles in the current issue:

Redesigning Research Guides: Lessons Learned from Usability Testing at the University of Memphis / Jessica McClure, Carl Hess, and David Marsicano

At the University of Memphis, a team of librarians and library staff formed the Research Guides Redesign Team (RGRT) to redesign, organize, and evaluate the University Libraries’ (UL) research guides. The purpose of the project was to ensure that the new design of the research guides homepage was intuitive to use. While it is impossible to ensure absolute usability for every user, this usability study attempts to eradicate the most common interface issues in community experiences at the University of Memphis. The RGRT conducted usability testing to evaluate the effectiveness of the new standardized format, grouped headings, and the appearance of the interface. The RGRT worked within the limitations of Springshare’s software to create the design and then chose five users to complete various task scenarios. Upon analysis of the users’ ability to complete the tasks, the RGRT discovered that overall, the design was effective, but they did make a few minor changes. This study describes the process and includes the original design, the new design, edits made after usability testing was conducted, and plans for future testing.


Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Mobile Application for Academic Library Services: A Study in a Developing Country / Hamid Reza Saeidnia, Marcin Kozak, Brady Lund, Nishith Reddy Mannuru, Hamid Keshavarz, Bakthavachalam Elango, Afshin Babajani, and Ali Ghorbi

Universities and scientific educational institutions today need targeted information services to ensure that their user communities have the information they need. This study aims to design, develop, implement, and evaluate a mobile application for academic library services at Tarbiat Modares University (Tehran, Iran). A four-stage process was utilized to accomplish this aim. In the first phase, relevant literature was reviewed to obtain appropriate data requirements for the app. A questionnaire was designed and administered to survey expert librarians on the most suitable data requirements. The second phase involved the design of the user interface and user experience with the assistance of experts, followed by the evaluation of the experience. The third phase involved the development of the app in the Android Studio environment using the Java programming language, based on the requirements identified in the first and second phases. The app was then made available to the user community. Finally, the app was evaluated in the fourth phase using a questionnaire tool. The researchers found this approach to application development to be both economical and effective in the context of a developing country.


DSpace 7 Benefits: Is It Worth Upgrading? / Matus Formanek

This study discusses the importance of the DSpace open-source software that supports numerous digital libraries and repositories around the world. With the release of DSpace version 7, a natural question that arises is whether the new version offers enough new functionalities to motivate system administrators to upgrade. This paper briefly describes the most important changes, including new features and bug fixes, included in DSpace 7.4 and prior minor versions. The next parts of this paper explore our estimate that there are several thousand DSpace-based systems globally that will likely have to be upgraded in the near future. The main reason for this need is that older versions of DSpace (including 5.x) have reached the end of their developer support period or are reaching it in mid-2023. Based on our own upgrade experience, we propose suggestions and recommendations on migrating from the previous DSpace 6.3-based environment to the new one in a case study that concludes this article.


Privacy Audit of Public Access Computers and Networks at a Public College Library / Katelyn Angell

In 2021, the assessment-data management librarian at Lehman College Library decided to conduct a privacy audit of the Library’s public computers and networks. This audit comprised one of the Library’s two annual formal assessments of resources and services. The American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Privacy Checklist for Public Access Computers and Networks was selected to review 17 key items related to protecting user privacy and confidentiality. Faculty and staff from Circulation, Library Technology, and Online Learning identified 10 indicators needing work. Suggestions are provided for collaboratively resolving these issues and future steps are described to continuously maximize the online security of the campus community.


From ChatGPT to CatGPT: The Implications of Artificial Intelligence on Library Cataloging /  Richard Brzustowicz

This paper explores the potential of language models such as ChatGPT to transform library cataloging. Through experiments with ChatGPT, the author demonstrates its ability to generate accurate MARC records using RDA and other standards such as the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. These results demonstrate the potential of ChatGPT as a tool for streamlining the record creation process and improving efficiency in library settings. The use of AI-generated records, however, also raises important questions related to intellectual property rights and bias. The paper reviews recent studies on AI in libraries and concludes that further research and development of this innovative technology is necessary to ensure its responsible implementation in the field of library cataloging.


The September contribution to our regular “Public Libraries Leading the Way” column, “Automating the Diversity Audit Process” by Rachel Fischer of the Cooperative Computer Services, a public library consortium in Illinois provides a discussion of tools that can help describe the diversity of a library’s collections.


Contributing to the Journal

We invite all readers to contribute to the journal. If you are involved in any aspect of libraries—we consider this an inclusive scope, including cultural memory institutions such as museums, archives, and more—we welcome submissions for peer-reviewed articles or communications. Information Technology and Libraries is proud to be diamond open access — that is, it is free to read for all, charges no article processing fees to authors or their institutions, and content is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Want to know more? See our Call for Submissions. If you have questions or wish to bounce ideas off the editor and assistant editor, please contact either of us at the email addresses below.

Ken Varnum, Editor varnum@umich.edu
Marisha Kelly, Assistant Editor marisha.librarian@gmail.com