General information

March 2020 ITAL Issue Now Available

LITA ITAL logo

The March 2020 issue of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) is available now. In this issue, ITAL Editor Ken Varnum shares his support of LITA, ALCTS, and LLAMA merging to form a new ALA division, Core. Our content includes a message from LITA President, Emily Morton-Owens. “A Framework for Member Success,“ Morton-Owens discusses the current challenges of LITA as a membership organization and reinvention being the key to survival. Also in this edition, Laurie Willis discusses the pros and cons of handling major projects in-house versus hiring a vendor in “Tackling Big Projects.” Sheryl Cormicle Knox and Trenton Smiley discuss using digital tactics as a cost-effective way to increase marketing reach in “Google Us!

Featured Articles:

User Experience Methods and Maturity in Academic Libraries,” Scott W. H. Young, Zoe Chao, and Adam Chandler

This article presents a mixed-methods study of the methods and maturity of user experience (UX) practice in academic libraries. The authors apply qualitative content analysis and quantitative statistical analysis to a research dataset derived from a survey of UX practitioners. Results reveal the type and extent of UX methods currently in use by practitioners in academic libraries. Read more.

Virtual Reality,” by Megan Frost, Michael Goates, Sarah Cheng, and Jed Johnston

We conducted a survey to inform the expansion of a Virtual Reality (VR) service in our library. The survey assessed user experience, demographics, academic interests in VR, and methods of discovery. Currently our institution offers one HTC Vive VR system that can be reserved and used by patrons within the library, but we would like to expand the service to meet the interests and needs of our patrons. We found use among all measured demographics and sufficient patron interest for us to justify expansion of our current services. Read more.

Using Augmented and Virtual Reality in Information Literacy Instruction to Reduce Library Anxiety in Nontraditional and International Students,” by Angela Sample

Throughout its early years, the Oral Roberts University (ORU) Library held a place of pre-eminence on campus. ORU’s founder envisioned the Library as central to all academic function and scholarship. Under the direction of the founding dean of learning resources, the Library was an early pioneer in innovative technologies and methods. However, over time, as the case with many academic libraries, the Library’s reputation as an institution crucial to the academic work on campus had diminished. Read more.

Bento Box User Experience Study at Franklin University,” by Marc Jaffy

This article discusses the benefits of the bento-box method of searching library resources, including a comparison of the method with a tabbed search interface. It then describes a usability study conducted by the Franklin University Library in which 27 students searched for an article, an ebook, and a journal on two websites: one using a bento box and one using the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS). Screen recordings of the searches were reviewed to see what actions users took while looking for information on each site, as well as how long the searches took. Read more.

User Experience with a New Public Interface for an Integrated Library System,” by Kelly Blessinger and David Comeaux

The purpose of this study was to understand the viewpoints and attitudes of researchers at Louisiana State University toward the new public search interface from SirsiDynix, Enterprise. Fifteen university constituents participated in user studies to provide feedback while completing common research tasks. Particularly of interest to the librarian observers were identifying and characterizing where problems were expressed by the participants as they utilized the new interface. Read more.

Creating and Managing a Repository of Past Exam Papers,” by Mariya Maistrovskaya and Rachel Wang

Exam period can be a stressful time for students, and having examples of past papers to help prepare for the tests can be extremely helpful. It is possible that past exams are already shared on your campus—by professors in their specific courses, via student unions or groups, or between individual students. In this article, we will go over the workflows and infrastructure to support systematically collecting, providing access to, and managing a repository of past exam papers. Read more.

Meeting Users Where They Are” by Graham Sherriff, Dan DeSanto, Daisy Benson, and Gary S. Atwood

Campus portals are one of the most visible and frequently used online spaces for students, offering one-stop access to key services for learning and academic self-management. This case study reports how instruction librarians at the University of Vermont collaborated with portal developers in the registrar’s office to develop high-impact, point-of-need content for a dedicated “Library” page. This content was then created in LibGuides and published using the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for LibGuides boxes. Read more.

Submit Your Ideas

Contact ITAL Editor Ken Varnum at varnum@umich.edu 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 us at (312) 280-4268 or lita@ala.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *