News & Noteworthy

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.