Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This is issue No. 9 and as editors we were awestruck at the article in a recent issue of InfoWorld on the Six myths of IT. It came back to haunt us how critically important it is to have accurate information and to distinguish between speculation and fact. The six myths that were identified are:
Server upgrades matter.
80 percent of corporate data resides on mainframes.
All big shops run multiple platforms.
CIOs and CTOs have a greater need for business savvy than tech expertise.
Most IT projects fail.
IT does not scale.
Just think if these were facts instead of myths, we would have no future – libraries are technology havens where new things are conceived, tried, tested and implemented before new versions are revisions are made. There are always challenges but never as many as there are ideas to court and ways to achieve new efficiencies, and the new and emerging inventions that are released on a daily basis.
We see many demonstrations of these myths in discussions in all the content of this issue. The conference reports in this issue are from the annual Crimea Conference and the IFLA conference held in August for the first time in the southern hemisphere in Buenos Aires. This issue also has many contributions from our colleagues around the world that focus on training and development in different library environments ranging from academic libraries to school libraries. Core competencies in computer and technology training are a challenge all libraries experience. When the levels of exposure to basic computer functions and capabilities are weak and access to computer time is limited, many library employees have not had adequate opportunities to develop their skills. Thus, the digital divide is clear in these contributions and readers in the developing world can pause and think of their colleagues elsewhere who are still performing many tasks in manual and cumbersome ways. Basic e-mail that appears to be so ubiquitous in most parts of the world is used differently and dependency is not something equally shared everywhere. So, we get a glimpse from Nigeria and India about library technology and staff training with an understanding about e-mail usage in a Nigerian university setting. In addition, there is a feature article on "Information portals" as it was developed at the University of Washington.
The columns in this issue are equally varied. Our "Around the World" column returns with a true global experience shared by a librarian who accompanied the University of Pittsburgh's Semester at Sea program as it cruised to many ports and experienced its first sailing in its new ship. Lots of new publications were released and are listed in the New Books column. Gerry McKiernan writes an E-profile for this issue that launches a new series about contributors to information technology in the broad discipline of information science practice, including library environments. The information marketplace is full of announcements in the New & Noteworthy column and the dateline calendar expands with a huge variety of conferences, training opportunities and programs around the globe. It is a challenge to keep up with everything and one wonders if we really have a sound pulse on what is going on and taking place.
Again, as this calendar year comes to an end, we remind our readers that we want to hear from you, with submissions about what is happening in your part of the world and we welcome contributions, long and short, case studies, interview, reports, short features or other creative demonstrations of what kinds of technology you are trying to solve problems and be more responsive to our library users.