June 2018 ITAL Issue Published

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The June 2018 issue (volume 37, number 2) of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) has been published.

With this issue, we introduce a new look for the journal — thanks to the work of LITA’s Web Coordinating Committee, and in particular Kelly Sattler (also a member of the Editorial Board), Jingjing Wu, and Guy Cicinelli. The new design is much easier on the eyes and more legible, and sports a new graphic identity for ITAL.

In this June 2018 issue, we continue our celebration of ITAL’s 50th year with a summary by Editorial Board member Sandra Shores of the articles published in the 1970s, the journal’s first full decade of publication. The 1970s are particularly pivotal in library technology, as it marks the introduction of the personal computer, as a hobbyist’s tool, to society. The web is still more than a decade away, but the seeds are being planted.

The table of contents and brief abstracts are below.

Ken Varnum

“Primo New User Interface: Usability Testing and Local Customizations Implemented in Response”
Blake Lee Galbreath, Corey Johnson, and Erin Hvizdak

Washington State University was the first library system of its 39-member consortium to migrate to Primo New User Interface. Following this migration, we conducted a usability study in July 2017 to better understand how our users fared when the new user interface deviated significantly from the classic interface. From this study, we learned that users had little difficulty using basic and advanced search, signing into and out of primo, and navigating their account. In other areas, where the difference between the two interfaces was more pronounced, study participants experienced more difficulty. Finally, we present customizations implemented at Washington State University to the design of the interface to help alleviate the observed issues.

“Managing In-Library Use Data: Putting a Web Geographic Information Systems Platform through its Paces”
Bruce Godfrey and Rick Stoddart

Web Geographic Information System (GIS) platforms have matured to a point where they offer attractive capabilities for collecting, analyzing, sharing, and visualizing in-library use data for space-assessment initiatives. As these platforms continue to evolve, it is reasonable to conclude that enhancements to these platforms will not only offer librarians more opportunities to collect in-library use data to inform the use of physical space in their buildings, but also that they will potentially provide opportunities to more easily share database schemas for defining learning spaces and observations associated with those spaces. This article proposes using web GIS, as opposed to traditional desktop GIS, as an approach for collecting, managing, documenting, analyzing, visualizing, and sharing in-library use data and goes on to highlight the process for utilizing the Esri ArcGIS Online platform for a pilot project by an academic library for this purpose.

“It is Our Flagship: Surveying the Landscape of Digital Interactive Displays in Learning Environments”
Lydia Zvyagintseva

This paper presents the findings of an environmental scan conducted as part of a Digital Exhibits Intern Librarian Project at the Edmonton Public Library in 2016. As part of the Library’s 2016–2018 Business Plan objective to define the vision for a digital exhibits service, this research project aimed to understand the current landscape of digital displays in learning institutions globally. The resulting study consisted of 39 structured interviews with libraries, museums, galleries, schools, and creative design studios. The environmental scan explored the technical infrastructure of digital displays, their user groups, various uses for the technologies within organizational contexts, the content sources, scheduling models, and resourcing needs for this emergent service. Additionally, broader themes surrounding challenges and successes were also included in the study. Despite the variety of approaches taken among learning institutions in supporting digital displays, the majority of organizations have expressed a high degree of satisfaction with these technologies.

“The Provision of Mobile Services in US Urban Libraries”
Ya Jun Guo, Yan Quan Liu, and Arlene Bielefield

To determine the present situation regarding services provided to mobile users in US urban libraries, the authors surveyed 138 Urban Libraries Council members utilizing a combination of mobile visits, content analysis, and librarian interviews. The results show that nearly 95% of these libraries have at least one mobile website, mobile catalog, or mobile app. The libraries actively applied new approaches to meet each local community’s remote-access needs via new technologies, including app download links, mobile reference services, scan ISBN, location navigation, and mobile printing. Mobile services that libraries provide today are timely, convenient, and universally applicable.

“Current Trends and Goals in the Development of Makerspaces at New England College and Research Libraries”
Ann Marie Lynn Davis

This study investigates why and which types of college and research libraries (CRLs) are currently developing Makerspaces (or an equivalent space) for their communities. Based on an online survey and phone interviews with a sample population of CRLs in New England, the investigator found that more than two dozen (26) CRLs had or were in the process of developing a Makerspace in this region. In addition, a number of other CRLs were actively engaged in promoting and diffusing the Maker ethos. Of these libraries, most were motivated to promote open access to new technologies, literacies, and STEM-related knowledge.

“From Dreamweaver to Drupal: A University Library Website Case Study”
Jesi Buell

In 2016, Colgate University Libraries began converting their static HTML website to the Drupal platform. This article outlines the process librarians used to complete this project using only in-house resources and minimal funding. For libraries and similar institutions considering the move to a content management system, this case study can provide a starting point and highlight important issues.

Editorial Content

Submit Your Ideas

for contributions to ITAL to Ken Varnum, editor, at with your proposal. Current formats are generally

  • Articles – original research or comprehensive and in-depth analyses, in the 3000-5000 word range.
  • Communications – brief research reports, technical findings, and case studies, in the 1000-3000 word range.

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to LITA publications, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty,