Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) Volume 27, Number 4 December 2008

President’s Message (2) [PDF]
Andrew K. Pace

Editorial (3-4) [PDF]
Marc Truitt

Editorial Board Thoughts (5-8) [PDF]
Donna Hirst

Featured Articles

Metaphor’s Role In the Information Behavior of Humans Interacting with Computers (9-16) [PDF]
Robin Sease

Metaphors convey information, communicate abstractions, and help us understand new concepts. While the nascent field of information behavior (IB) has adopted common metaphors like "berry-picking" and "gap-bridging" for its models, the study of how people use metaphors is only now emerging in the subfield of human information organizing behavior (HIOB). Metaphors have been adopted in human–computer interaction (HCI) to facilitate the dialogue between user and system. Exploration of the literature on metaphors in the fields of linguistics and cognitive science as well as an examination of the history of use of metaphors in HCI as a case study of metaphor usage offers insight into the role of metaphor in human information behavior.

Editor’s note: This article is the winner of the LITA/Ex Libris Writing Award, 2008.

Evaluation of the New Jersey Digital Highway (17-24) [PDF]
Judy Jeng

The aim of this research is to study the usefulness of the New Jersey Digital Highway (NJDH, www.njdigitalhigh way.org) and its portal structure. The NJDH intends to provide an immersive and user-centered portal for New Jersey history and culture. The research recruited 145 participants and used a Web-based questionnaire that contained three sections: for everyone, for educators, and for curators. The feedback on the usefulness of the NJDH was positive and the portal structure was favorable. The research uncovered several reasons why some collections did not want to or could not participate. The findings also suggested priorities for further development. This study is one of the few on the evaluation of cultural heritage digital library.

Communications

"Just-in-Case" Answers: The Twenty-First-Century Vertical File (25-28) [PDF]
Tam Dalrymple

This article discusses the use of OCLC’s QuestionPoint service for managing electronic publications and other items that fall outside the scope of OCLC Library’s OPAC and Web resources pages, yet need to be “put somewhere.” The local knowledge base serves as both a collection development tool and as a virtual vertical file, with records that are easy to enter, search, update, or delete.

Tutorial

Playing Tag In the Dark: Diagnosing Slowness In Library Response Time (29-32) [PDF]
Margaret Brown-Sica

In this article the author explores how the systems department at the Auraria Library (which serves more than thirty thousand primarily commuting students at the University of Colorado–Denver, the Metropolitan State College of Denver, and the Community College of Denver) diagnosed and analyzed slow response time when querying proprietary databases. Issues examined include vendor issues, proxy issues, library network hardware, and bandwidth and network traffic.

Index to Advertisers (32)

Index to Volume 26 (2007) (33-36) [PDF]

Index to Volume 27 (2008) (37-39) [PDF]