LITA Annual Report, 2014-2015

statswinnersmembershipAs we reflect on 2014-2015, it’s fair to say that LITA, despite some financial challenges, has had numerous successes and remains a thriving organization. Three areas – membership, education, and publications – bring in the most revenue for LITA. Of those, membership is the largest money generator. However, membership has been on a decline, a trend that’s been seen across the American Library Association (ALA) for the past decade. In response, the Board, committees, interest groups, and many and individuals have been focused on improving the member experience to retain current members and attract potential ones. With all the changes to the organization and leadership, LITA is on the road to becoming profitable again and will remain one of ALA’s most impactful divisions.

Read more in the LITA Annual Report.

Technology Disaster Response and Recovery Planning

Mallery_300Check out the newest LITA Guide: Technology Disaster Response and Recovery Planning

Most library disaster plans focus on response and recovery from collection and facilities disasters, such as fire and floods. But because technology is becoming ever more integral to libraries’ role in their communities, any interruption in service and resources is a serious matter. A disaster’s effect on internet and social media sites, electronic resources, digital collections, and staff and public infrastructure of PCs, tablets, laptops and other peripherals requires special consideration. Edited by Mary Mallery, “Technology Disaster Response and Recovery Planning: A LITA Guide” published by ALA TechSource, features contributions from librarians who offer hard-won advice gained from personal experience. Leading readers through a step-by-step process of creating a library technology disaster response and recovery plan, this compendium:

  • outlines the three phases of technology disaster response, with examples of planning and implementation strategies from several different libraries;
  • describes how to conduct an inventory and risk assessment;
  • provides detailed case studies of recent large-scale technology disasters in libraries and documents how lessons learned have helped to improve technology disaster planning;
  • offers an in-depth look at future trends in cloud computing, mapping out the new field of disaster mitigation, response and recovery planning;
  • includes useful resources such as checklists, templates and a sample communications plan.

Mallery is the associate dean for technical services at Montclair State University Library. She has published articles and presented on library technology-related topics extensively. She is the book review editor for the Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship and a regular contributor to the Web Review column of Technical Services Quarterly. She teaches classes in database design and management as well as metadata sources for library professionals at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information as a part-time lecturer.

Marta M. Deyrup receives Award for Distinguished Service

Marta M. Deyrup of Seton Hall University Libraries is the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Service Award, granted by the New Jersey Library Association’s College and University Section / Association of College and Research Libraries New Jersey chapter. This honor is awarded annually to an individual who, by his or her outstanding contributions, has directly enriched the profession of librarianship in New Jersey.

This award honors Marta’s excellent, energetic, prolific, and long-standing contributions to New Jersey librarianship both in information literacy instruction and as an international educator, editor and writer in information science.

Marta has twice received the prestigious Researcher of the Year Award at Seton Hall University Libraries. She has long been an active participant in NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ. She was a member of the team that won the first NJLA CUS/Technology Innovation Award in 2002 for “Information Literacy in the Wired University.” She has served the VALE Committee on Information Literacy, the VALE Committee on Bibliographic Control and Metadata and is an active member of the VALE Assessment, Evaluation and Statistics Committee where she helped to create the new VALE Survey Planning Checklist.

Marta currently serves as Acquisitions Editor for LITA Guides and is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship as well as the Technical Services Quarterly. She has written extensively on technologies and scholarship in librarianship and has contributed to the literature for Slavic librarians.

Along with her many contributions, Marta has also served as the Co-Director of the Elizabeth Ann Seton Center for Women’s Studies at Seton Hall University. She has also served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Library Science for the Institut Morocain d’Information Scientifique et Technique in Morocco as well as for the University of Zadar in Croatia.

Marta received her Master of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University and her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature at Columbia University.

A formal presentation of the award will take place at the College and University Section’s luncheon at 12:30 pm on Wednesday June 5th 2013 at the NJLA Conference at Revel Hotel, Atlantic City, NJ. Please join the NJLA-CUS/ACRL-NJ Executive Board in offering Marta congratulations and appreciation for the many years she has dedicated to the academic library profession.

March issue of ITAL available

I’m pleased to announce the publication of the March issue of Information Technology and Libraries.

Issue contents are listed below. To receive automatic notifications of future issues, please subscribe to ITAL.

Suggestions and feedback are always welcome, please send to:

Bob Gerrity
ITAL Editor
gerrityr (at)

Information Technology and Libraries
Volume 32, Number 1 (March 2013)


Bob Gerrity

Editor’s Comments

Patrick “Tod” Colegrove

Editorial Board Thoughts: Libraries as Makerspace?


Danielle Becker and Lauren Yannotta

Modeling a library web site redesign process: developing a user-centered web site through usability testing 

This article presents a model for creating a strong, user-centered web presence by pairing usability testing and the design process. Four rounds of usability testing were conducted throughout the process of building a new academic library web site. Participants were asked to perform tasks using a talk-aloud protocol. Tasks were based on guiding principles of web usability that served as a framework for the new site. Results from this study show that testing throughout the design process is an effective way to build a website that not only reflects user needs and preferences, but can be easily changed as new resources and technologies emerge.

Kathleen W. Weessies, Daniel S. Dotson

Mapping for the Masses: GIS Lite & Online Mapping Tools in Academic Libraries

Customized maps depicting complex social data are much more prevalent today than in the past. Not only in formal published outlets, interactive mapping tools make it easy to create and publish custom maps in both formal and more casual outlets such as social media. This article defines GIS Lite, describes three commercial products currently licensed by institutions and discusses issues that arise from their varied functionality and license restrictions.

Vandana Singh

Experiences of Migrating to Open Source Integrated Library Systems 

Interest in migrating to open-source integrated library systems is continually growing in libraries. Along with the interest, lack of empirical research and evidence to compare the process of migration brings a lot of anxiety to the interested librarians. In this research, twenty librarians who have worked in libraries that migrated to open-source integrated library system (ILS) or are in the process of migrating were interviewed. The interviews focused on their experiences and the lessons learned in the process of migration. The results from the interviews are used to create guidelines/best practices for each stage of the adoption process of an open-source ILS. These guidelines will be helpful for librarians who want to research and adopt an open-source ILS.

Danijela Boberic Krsticev

Information Retrieval Using Middleware Approach 

This paper explores the use of a mediator/wrapper approach to enable the search of an existing library management system using different information retrieval protocols  It proposes an architecture for a software component that will act as an intermediary between the library system and search services.It provides an overview of different approaches to add Z39.50 and Search/Retrieval via URL (SRU) functionality using a middleware approach that is implemented on the BISIS library management system. That wrapper performs transformation of Contextual Query Language (CQL) into Lucene query language. The primary aim of this software component is to enable search and retrieval of bibliographic records using the SRU and Z39.50 protocols, but the proposed architecture of the software components is also suitable for inclusion of the existing library management system into a library portal. The software component provides a single interface to server-side protocols for search and retrieval of records. Additional protocols could be used. This paper provides practical demonstration of interest to developers of library management systems and those who are trying to use open-source solutions to make their local catalog accessible to other systems.

LITA Guide: Improving the visibility and use of digital repositories through SEO

Recent OCLC surveys show that less than 2 percent of library users begin their search on a library website, which is why search engine optimization (SEO) is so crucial. And though a survey of faculty researchers at four major universities showed that most consider Google and Google Scholar amazingly effective for their research, low Google Scholar indexing ratios for library institutional repositories is widespread because it ignores common library metadata. Kenning Arlitsch and Patrick OBrien, who have presented and published widely on the topic, show how to ensure that high-value content is visible to researchers in their new book “Improving the Visibility and Use of Digital Repositories through SEO: A LITA Guide,” published by ALA TechSource. Drawing on their expertise in digital libraries and corporate marketing, they show how to mount a successful SEO strategy, including:

  • Recommended dashboards for increasing participation by sharing data;
  • Avoiding the four most common crawler errors that lead to low rankings;
  • How to effectively utilize the Google Keyword Tool;
  • The use of domain settings to generate unit-specific reports for special collections, institutional repositories and university presses.

Arlitsch is the dean of the library at Montana State University. Prior to his current position he was the associate dean for information technology services at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. He is the founder of the Mountain West Digital Library and the Utah Digital Newspapers program, as well as co-founder of the Western Waters Digital Library and the Western Soundscape Archive.

OBrien is the Semantic Web research director at the Montana State University Library. Prior to his current position he was the SEO research manager at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. He is an expert in Semantic Web technologies and their application for improving data integration quality, discovering new relationships, and turning diverse data stores into conceptual knowledge. OBrien has more than 15 years’ experience implementing data-driven marketing and risk management strategy within various industries.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or editionsmarketing (at)

LITA Guide Available: Implementing virtual reference services

Social Web technologies present an often confusing array of options for answering library users’ reference questions. In “Implementing Virtual Reference Services: A LITA Guide,” published by ALA TechSource, editor Beth C. Thomsett-Scott applies 20 years’ experience as a reference librarian to sort through the clutter of tools and technologies in the industry. Contributors from across the field lay out how libraries are using vendor services such as LibraryH3lp, LibAnswers and Text a Librarian, as well as free tools like Twitter and Google Voice, for their reference needs. Practitioners offer details on virtual reference services such as Twitter Search, instant messaging (IM) services such as Google Voice and Chat and collaborative services such as My Info Quest.

Thomsett-Scott is currently the engineering librarian at the University of North Texas Libraries. In her previous role as reference unit manager, she assisted with establishing the libraries’ Meebo service, as well as their chat and text messaging services. She has served in various positions in professional associations, including ALA, the Special Library Association and the Texas Library Association. She has published in a variety of journals and presented conference sessions on the topics of website usability, mentoring and training reference staff and students and technology.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or editionsmarketing (at)

December issue of ITAL Available

The December issue of Information Technology and Libraries is available at:

Issue contents are listed below. To receive automatic notifications of future issues, please subscribe to ITAL here:

Please note the the first volume of the Journal of Library Automation (JOLA), first published in 1968, is also now available online. JOLA was the predecessor to Information Technology and Libraries. Additional volumes will be published shortly.

Suggestions and feedback are always welcome: please send to Bob Gerrity, ITAL Editor, at gerrityr (at)


Information Technology and Libraries

Volume 31, Number 4 (December 2012)




Bob Gerrity

Editor’s Comments


Ed Tallent

Editorial Board Thoughts: Technology and Mission: Reflections of a First-Year Library Director




David Ward, Jim Hahn, Kirsten Feist

Autocomplete as a Research Tool: A Study on Providing Search Suggestions

As the library website and on its online searching tools become the primary “branch” many users visit for their research, methods for providing automated, context-sensitive research assistance need to be developed to guide unmediated searching towards the most relevant results. This study examines one such method, the use of autocompletion in search interfaces, by conducting usability tests on its use in typical academic research scenarios. The study reports notable findings on user preference for autocomplete features, and suggests best practices for their implementation.


Susan Thompson

Student Use of Library Computers: Are Desktop Computers Still Relevant in Today’s Libraries?

Academic libraries have traditionally provided computers for students to access their collections and, more recently, facilitate all aspects of studying. Recent changes in technology, particularly the increased presence of mobile devices, calls into question how libraries can best provide technology support and how it might impact the use of other library services. A two-year study conducted at California State University San Marcos library analyzed student use of the computers in the library, both the library’s own desktop computers and laptops owned by students. The results found that, despite the increased ownership of mobile technology by students, they still clearly preferred to use desktop computers in the library. It also showed that students who used computers in the library were more likely to use other library services and physical collections.


Victor Jesús Sosa-Sosa and Emigdio M. Hernandez-Ramirez

A File Storage Service on a Cloud Computing Environment for Digital Libraries

This paper introduces a file storage service that is implemented on a private/hybrid cloud computing environment. The entire system was implemented using open source software. The characteristic of elasticity is supported by virtualization technologies allowing to increase and to decrease the computing and storage resources based on their demand. An evaluation of performance and resource consumption was made using several levels of data availability and fault tolerance. The set of modules included in this storage environment can be taken as a reference guide for IT staff that wants to have some experience building a modest cloud storage infrastructure.


Eun G. Park and Sam Oh

Examining Attributes of Open Standard File Formats for Long-term Preservation and Open Access

This study examines the attributes that have been used to assess file formats in literature and compiles the most frequently used attributes of file formats in order to establish open standard file format selection criteria. A comprehensive review was undertaken to identify the current knowledge regarding file format selection criteria. The findings indicate that the most common criteria can be categorized into five major groups: functionality, metadata, openness, interoperability, and independence. These attributes appear to be closely related. Additional attributes include presentation, authenticity, adoption, protection, preservation, reference, and others.

Jump-starting a career as a digital librarian

The skills of digital librarianship are more crucial than ever, and these same skills are in high demand outside the field, from tech startups undertaking digitization projects to digital humanities centers bringing together professors, computer scientists and information technologists.  “Jump-Start Your Career As a Digital Librarian: A LITA Guide,” published by ALA Neal-Schuman, helps readers map out a career in this fast-growing field.

Editor Jane Monson gathers a full range of perspectives in this clear, concise overview of the core concepts and competencies of digital librarianship.  Twenty-one experienced practitioners from a variety of settings offer realistic views of today’s job market, typical project dynamics and employer expectations. New graduates just starting out as well as seasoned professionals transitioning from other areas will benefit from this book’s valuable coverage of topics such as:

  • Activities and roles of the digital librarian, including management of digital projects and collaboration;
  • Developing and using transferable skills;
  • Becoming familiar with metadata;
  • How digital librarians are re-shaping scholarly publishing;
  • The concept and framework of digital preservation best practices;
  • Technical competencies such as XML and content management systems.

Monson received her MLS from the University of Iowa and is digital initiatives librarian at the University of Northern Colorado. She was previously digital projects librarian at Truman State University in Missouri. She has been published in Computers in Libraries magazine, is a book reviewer for the Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship and serves on the Library and Information Technology Association’s (LITA)Publications Committee.

LITA, a division of ALA, educates, serves and reaches out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology. LITA also hosts its own Job Site focused on library technology jobs across the country. Updates are posted every Wednesday.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976 by Patricia Glass Schuman and John Vincent Neal, ALA Neal-Schuman, now an imprint of ALAPublishing, publishes professional books for librarians, archivists, and knowledge managers. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

LITA Publications Committee

I’m posting an abbreviated report here because, from the look of it, the committee report form (which should show up on LITA-L) automagically combines all those carefully-prepared paragraphs into one big ugly paragraph. Ah, the wonders of automation…

Anyway: We had five people at the single 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting session–two committee members (Judy Jeng and Juan Carlos Rodriguez), Board liaison Mark Beatty, ITAL editor Marc Truitt, LITA Executive Director Mary Taylor and me. Given the extent of his advance comments, I’d consider committee member Paul Bracke to be a “virtual attendee.”


  • ITAL: The December issue is out, enough articles are on hand for the March and June issues, and probably enough for September. New submissions continue to arrive–and, as is typical of a high-value journal, fewer than half of the submissions are accepted. The ITALica blog hasn’t had a lot of activity to date, but it also doesn’t show up in end-of-article blurbs yet. (There aren’t metrics for blog readership yet.) The group discussed ITAL’s print status and OA status (currently a six-month embargo). Apparently, only half of the production budget is print-related, and outside subscriptions almost cover the costs (but not quite). The group suggested a member and subscriber survey to determine current preferences for print vs. e-only. Mary Taylor will look into availability of recycled paper (used by some other divisional journals). (We noted the possibility of an OA e-only journal with optional end-of-year print using PoD, as some journals are now doing.)
  • LITA Guides and LITA monographs: We discussed the current Guides contract. One Guide proposal appeared just after Midwinter, and will be routed to committee members for discussion. There’s not a big flow of monographs (or any, actually), and we discussed whether there were loads of ideas out there where LITA could add value and books needed to be written. Opinions differ.
  • Technology Electronic Reviews: With a resigning editor, two 2007 issues (the second having only three reviews) and no 2008 issues, TER appears moribund. The general feeling during the meeting was that the best solution might be to revitalize ITAL’s reviews section and invite TER reviewers to submit reviews to ITAL. That discussion may also be ongoing.
  • The role of Publications Committee: Some discussion. Is the committee vital as a revenue source? Should members be actively soliciting possible monographs? Should the group take a look at both content that’s out there and appropriate venues? This is probably a long-term discussion, maybe to be moved forward with a younger and more energetic chair.

–Walt Crawford, chair (for now), LITA Publications Committee