First Ever E-Only Issue of Information Technology and Libraries
As announced earlier this year, the journal Information Technology and Libraries has published its first issue in its new incarnation as an open-access, e-only publication.
Of particular interest to me are the following articles:
- Library Use of Web-based Research Guides (Jimmy Ghaphery, Erin White): "This paper describes the ways in which libraries are currently implementing and managing web-based research guides (a.k.a. Pathfinders, LibGuides, Subject Guides, etc.) by examining two sets of data from the spring of 2011. One set of data was compiled by visiting the websites of ninety-nine American university ARL libraries and recording the characteristics of each site’s research guides. The other set of data is based on an online survey of librarians about the ways in which their libraries implement and maintain research guides. In conclusion, a discussion follows that includes implications for the library technology community."
- Investigations into Library Web-Scale Discovery Services (Jason Vaughan): "Web-scale discovery services for libraries provide deep discovery to a library’s local and licensed content, and represent an evolution, perhaps a revolution, for end user information discovery as pertains to library collections. This article frames the topic of web-scale discovery, and begins by illuminating web-scale discovery from an academic library’s perspective – that is, the internal perspective seeking widespread staff participation in the discovery conversation. This included the creation of a discovery task force, a group which educated library staff, conducted internal staff surveys, and gathered observations from early adopters. The article next addresses the substantial research conducted with library vendors which have developed these services. Such work included drafting of multiple comprehensive question lists distributed to the vendors, onsite vendor visits, and continual tracking of service enhancements. Together, feedback gained from library staff, insights arrived at by the Discovery Task Force, and information gathered from vendors collectively informed the recommendation of a service for the UNLV Libraries."
- Usability Test Results for a Discovery Tool in an Academic Library (Jody Condit Fagan, Meris A. Mandernach, Carl S. Nelson, Jonathan R. Paulo, Grover Saunders): "Discovery tools are emerging in libraries. These tools offer library patrons the ability to concurrently search the library catalog and journal articles. While vendors rush to provide feature-rich interfaces and access to as much content as possible, librarians wonder about the usefulness of these tools to library patrons. In order to learn about both the utility and usability of EBSCO Discovery Service, James Madison University conducted a usability test with eight students and two faculty members. The test consisted of nine tasks focused on common patron requests or related to the utility of specific discovery tool features. Software recorded participants’ actions and time on task, human observers judged the success of each task, and a post-survey questionnaire gathered qualitative feedback and comments from the participants. Overall, participants were successful at most tasks, but specific usability problems suggested some interface changes for both EBSCO Discovery Service and JMU’s customizations of the tool. The study also raised several questions for libraries above and beyond any specific discovery tool interface, including the scope and purpose of a discovery tool versus other library systems, working with the large result sets made possible by discovery tools, and navigation between the tool and other library services and resources. "