Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) Volume 25, Number 4 December 2006

President's Column


Guest Editorial

DONNA HIRST, Organizational Structure—Yesterday Informs the Present (179-180) [PDF

Featured Articles

Search across Different Media: Numeric Data Sets and Text Files


Digital technology encourages the hope of searching across and between different media forms (text, sound, image, numeric data). Topic searches are described in two different media: text files and socioeconomic numeric databases and also for transverse searching, whereby retrieved text is used to find topically related numeric data and vice versa. Direct transverse searching across different media is impossible. Descriptive metadata provide enabling infrastructure, but usually require mappings between different vocabularies and a search-term recommender system. Statistical association techniques and natural-language processing can help. Searches in socioeconomic numeric databases ordinarily require that place and time be specified.

Machine Assistance in Collection Building: New Tools, Research, Issues, and Reflections


Digital tool making offers many challenges, involving much trial and error. Developing machine learning and assistance in automated and semi-automated Internet resource discovery, metadata generation, and rich-text identification provides opportunities for great discovery, innovation, and the potential for transformation of the library community. The areas of computer science involved, as applied to the library applications addressed, are among that discipline’s leading edges. Making applied research practical and applicable, through placement within library/collection-management systems and services, involves equal parts computer scientist, research librarian, and legacy-systems archaeologist. Still, the early harvest is there for us now, with a large harvest pending. Data Fountains and iVia, the projects discussed, demonstrate this. Clearly, then, the present would be a good time for the library community to more proactively and significantly engage with this technology and research, to better plan for its impacts, to more proactively take up the challenges involved in its exploration, and to better and more comprehensively guide effort in this new territory. The alternative to doing this is that others will develop this territory for us, do it not as well, and sell it back to us at a premium. Awareness of this technology and its current capabilities, promises, limitations, and probable major impacts needs to be generalized throughout the library management, metadata, and systems communities. This article charts recent work, promising avenues for new research and development, and issues the library community needs to understand.

Academic Web Site Design and Academic Templates: Where Does the Library Fit In?

KATE PETERSON, (217-221) [PDF]

Academic Web site design continues to evolve as colleges and universities are under increasing pressure to create a Web site that is both hip and professional looking. Many colleges and universities are using templates to unify the look and feel of their Web sites. Where does the library Web site fit into a comprehensive campus design scheme? The library Web site is unique due to the wide range of services and content available. Based on a poster session presented at the Twelfth Annual Association of College and Research Libraries conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2005, this paper explores the prevalence of university-wide academic templates on library Web sites and discusses factors libraries should consider in the future.


Helping the Hacker? Library Information, Security, and Social Engineering

SAMUEL T. C. THOMPSON, (222-225) [PDF]

Social engineering is the use of nontechnical means to gain unauthorized access to information or computer systems. While this method is recognized as a major security threat in the computer industry, little has been done to address it in the library field. This is of particular concern because libraries increasingly have access to databases of both proprietary and personal information. This tutorial is designed to increase the awareness of library staff in regard to the issue of social engineering.

Index to Advertisers


Index to Volume 25

(226-228) [PDF]