Academic journal article Information Technology and Libraries

Editor's Comments

Academic journal article Information Technology and Libraries

Editor's Comments

Article excerpt

Past and present converge with the December 2012 issue of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), as we also publish online the first volume of ITAL's predecessor, the Journal of Library Automation (JOLA), originally published in print in 1968.

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The first volume of JOLA offers a fascinating glimpse into early days of library automation, when many things were different, such as the size (big) and capacity (small) of computer hardware, and many things were the same (e.g., Richard Johnson's description of the book catalog project at Stanford, where "the major achievement of the preliminary systems design was to establish a meaningful dialogue between the librarian and systems and computer personnel." Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme.

There are articles by luminaries in the field: Richard de Gennaro describes approaches to developing an automation program in a large research library, Frederick Kilgour, from the Ohio College Library Center (now OCLC), analyzes catalog-card production costs at Columbia, Harvard, and Yale in the mid 1960s (8.8 to 9.8 cents per completed card), and Henriette Avram from the Library of Congress describes the successful use of the COBOL programming language to manipulate MARC II records. …

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