Academic journal article Information Technology and Libraries

Editorial Board Thoughts: ITAL 2.0

Academic journal article Information Technology and Libraries

Editorial Board Thoughts: ITAL 2.0

Article excerpt

The title of this recurring column is "Editorial Board Thoughts," so as I sit here in the middle of February, what am I thinking about? As I trudge to work each day through the snow and ice, I think about what a nuisance it is to have a broken foot (I broke the fifth metatarsal of my left foot at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston--not recommended) but most recently I've been thinking about ITAL.

The March issue is due to be mailed in a couple of weeks, and I got the digiTAL files a week or so ago. In a few days I'll have to start separating the PDF into individual articles, and then I'll start up my Web editor to turn the RTF files for each article into nicely formatted HTML. All of this gets fed into ALA's content management system, where you can view it online by pointing your Web browser to http://www.lita.org/ala/mgrps/divs/lita/ ITAL/ITALinformation.cfm. In case you didn't realize it, the full text of each issue of ITAL is there, going back to early 2004. Selected full-text articles are available from earlier issues going back to 2001. The site is in need of a face lift, but we expect to work on that in the near future.

Starting with the September 2008 issue of ITAL we launched ITALica, the ITAL blog at http://ITAL-ica .blogspot.com/, as a pilot. ITALica was conceived as a forum for readers, authors, and editors of ITAL to discuss each issue. For a year and a half we've been open for reader feedback, and our authors have been posting to the blog and responding to reader comments. What's your opinion of ITALica? Is it useful? What could we be doing to enhance its usefulness?

In reality we haven't had a great deal of communication via the blog. We are looking at moving ITALica from Blogger to a platform more integrated with existing ALA or LITA services. Is a blog format the best way to encourage discussion? When I look at the LITA Blog (http:// litablog.org/) I see that there are occasional posts, but there are rarely comments and little in the way of real discussion. It seems to be oriented toward announcements, so perhaps it's not a good comparison with ITALica. Some ALA groups are using WordPress for their blogs, a few with user comments, but mostly without much apparent traffic (for example, the LL&M Online blog, http://www . …

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