Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) Volume 22, Number 3, September 2003

Table of Contents

President's Column

Greetings LITA Members and Friends!
TOM WILSON

Feature Articles

Computer Literacy: Necessity or Buzzword?
SCOTT CHILDERS

Building an Internet Gateway
RON DAVIES

An Evaluation of Computer-Supported Collaborative Serial Management:A Case Study
YING ZHANG AND GRACEMARY C. SMULEWITZ

Communications

Implementing the SFX Link Server at the University of Iowa
PAUL A. SODERDAHL

A History of Web Portals and Their Development in Libraries
JOE ZHOU

The Development of the NISO Committee AX’s OpenURL Standard
ARTHUR HENDRICKS

Using Microsoft Share Point Team Services for Committee Management in the Library
ABHIJIT RAO

Book Review

Book Review

Index to Advertisers

Index to Advertisers


President's Column

   Greetings LITA Members and Friends!
TOM WILSON

Editor's Note: The full text of this column is available.


Feature Articles

   Computer Literacy: Necessity or Buzzword?
SCOTT CHILDERS

While the concept of computer literacy has existed for some time, the name has certainly changed. Whatever the name, the concept of computer literacy still has merit. By looking at the history of the computer literacy movement for grounding, we can build a definition for the next century and affirm that learning computer basics is a good thing for library staff to do.

Editor's Note: The full text of this article is available.

Scott Childers (schilders@unl.edu), is the Assistant Systems Librarian at the University of Nebraska Libraries, Lincoln.


   Building an Internet Gateway
RON DAVIES

The Library of the International Labour Organization created a gateway to Internet sites in the areas of work, employment, and social issues titled WorkGate. This article describes the design decisions that went into the project, such as the number of information resources that could feasibly be maintained and the selection criteria for including these resources. The actual development of the gateway involved the building of an underlying database and Web-based interfaces, the selection and description of Internet sites, and the creation of taxonomy to be used in classifying sites and browsing. While the gateway has been favorably received, ranking search results in a small database of brief records remains a problem. An unexpected benefit of the project was the opportunity staff had to share information about sites that would prove useful in their daily work.

Editor's Note: The full text of this article is available.

Ron Davies (davies@ilo.org) is Senior Systems Librarian for the International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.


   An Evaluation of Computer-Supported Collaborative Serial Management:A Case Study

YING ZHANG AND GRACEMARY C. SMULEWITZ

This case study was performed at Rutgers University to evaluate computer-supported serials management in an academic library context. Information in an ExtInfo folder within each serial control record of an integrated library system was manually restructured to a standard language and formatted to establish a central location to perform collaborative serials management. From interviews and questionnaires, the authors learned that serial staff and librarians are essentially satisfied with the centralized information distribution. From their perspective, the standards applied to the ExtInfo folder reduce errors in serial management, improve and streamline routine work, and require little learning effort to master.

Ying Zhang (yzhang@scils.rutgers.edu) is a Doctoral Student at the Rutgers University School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies, and Gracemary C. Smulewitz (smulewi@rci.rutgers.edu) is a Librarian at the New Brunswick Collection Services, Rutgers University Libraries.


Communications

   Implementing the SFX Link Server at the University of Iowa
PAUL A. SODERDAHL

In January 2002, the University of Iowa Libraries introduced its link server—linking related content from one information provider to another—using Ex Libris SFX software. Three basic services appeared on day 1 of the link server’s implementation: (1) citation reference linking to full-text electronic journal articles; (2) linking to holdings in the local catalog; and (3) persistent linking to an electronic reference service. The system is now integrated with more than seventy-five licensed databases and includes links to more than 16,000 full-text journal subscriptions. New developments beyond citation reference linking include links to Journal Citation Reports, Ulrichsweb, and interlibrary loan. This article describes the planning and initial implementation process of the SFX server.

Editor's Note: The full text of this article is available.

Paul A. Soderdahl (paul-soderdahl@uiowa.edu) is the Coordinator for Information Systems and Technology at the University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.


   A History of Web Portals and Their Development in Libraries
JOE ZHOU

This article studies the history of Web portals widely used in business-to-business and business-to-consumer Web applications in the late 1990s. Web portals originated from Web search engines in the early 1990s and evolved through Web push technology in mid-1990s to its mature model in the late 1990s. This article also compares Web portals with other popular media, such as radios and televisions, for their audience base and content broadness. As of January 2003, only a few libraries had adopted Web portal technology despite the widespread use of my.yahoo.com-type Web portals in the business sector. The article examines several reasons for the lack of portal development in libraries and concludes with a set of Web portal development guidelines for academic libraries. Some of the pioneer library portals are also discussed, as well as the California State Government, the first government portal to offer customization and financial transactions for individuals and business. This article concludes by probing a more fundamental question about general information storage and retrieval processes. In the last several hundred years, libraries primarily built hierarchical data structures and librarians provided information service without any search engines. In the past ten years, Web business communities have primarily worked on developing fast search engines for information retrieval without paying much attention to data structure. Now with the exponential growth of data on the Web, it is time that librarians and computer engineers work together to improve both search mechanisms and data structures for a more effective and efficient information service.

Joe Zhou (zhou@csus.edu) is Head of the Reference Department, California State University Library–Sacramento.


   The Development of the NISO Committee AX’s OpenURL Standard

ARTHUR HENDRICKS

This paper describes the development of the OpenURL standard and how it will impact librarians and information technologists. This article is based on information provided via email inquires sent to members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Committee AX responsible for producing this standard. The OpenURL syntax is designed to enable transportation of metadata and identifiers about referenced works and their context from any information resource to a local link server. This allows libraries to create locally-controlled and managed link servers that enable the delivery of context-sensitive linking in and across their collections.

Arthur Hendricks (bvah@pdx.edu) is Assistant Systems Librarian at the Branford P. Millar Library at Portland State University.


   Using Microsoft Share Point Team Services for Committee Management in the Library

ABHIJIT RAO

Library committees work for the improvement and technological advancement of library services. Managing these committees is not an easy task, especially when there are subcommittees within a larger committee. Inefficient management often leads to the disorganization of information and ultimately affects the objectives of the committee. This article explores the possibility of using Microsoft Share Point Team Services, a team Web site solution, for easier and more centralized management of library committees.

Abhijit Rao is a Master’s student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.


Book Review

   Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies
Ben Shneiderman. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Pr., 2002..

Editor's note: The full text of this review is available.