Guest Editorial by Clifford Lynch
Connotea Imports 2012-03-08
"Congratulations LITA and Information Technology and Libraries. Since the early days of the Internet, I’ve been continually struck by the incredible opportunities that it offers organizations concerned with the creation, organization, and dissemination of knowledge to advance their core missions in new and more effective ways. Libraries and librarians were consistently early and aggressive in recognizing, seizing, and advocating for these opportunities, though they’ve faced —and continue to face— enormous obstacles ranging from copyright laws to the amazing inertia of academic traditions in scholarly communication. Yet the library profession has been slow to open up access to the publications of its own professional societies, to take advantage of the greater reach and impact that such policies can offer. Making these changes is not easy: there are real financial implications that suddenly seem very serious when you are a member of a board of directors, charged with a fiduciary duty to your association, and you have to push through plans to realign its finances, organizational mission, and goals in the new world of networked information. So, as a long-time LITA member, I find it a great pleasure to see LITA finally reach this milestone with Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) moving to fully open-access electronic distribution, and I congratulate the LITA leadership for the persistence and courage to make this happen. It’s a decision that will, I believe, make the journal much more visible, and a more attractive venue for authors; it will also make it easier to use in educational settings, and to further the interactions between librarians, information scientists, computer scientists, and members of other disciplines. On a broader ALA-wide level, ITAL now joins ACRL’s College & Research Libraries as part of the American Library Association’s portfolio of open-access journals. Supporting ITAL as an open-access journal is a very good reason indeed to be a member of LITA...."