Barriers and solutions to assessing digital library reuse: Preliminary findings

Genya O'Gara, Liz Woolcott, Elizabeth Joan Kelly, Caroline Muglia, Ayla Stein, Santi Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight the initial top-level findings of a year-long comprehensive needs assessment, conducted with the digital library community, to reveal reuse assessment practices and requirements for digital assets held by cultural heritage and research organizations. The type of assessment examined is in contrast to traditional library analytics, and does not focus on access statistics, but rather on how users utilize and transform unique materials from digital collections.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper takes a variety of investigative approaches to explore the current landscape, and future needs, of digital library reuse assessment. This includes the development and analysis of pre- and post-study surveys, in-person and virtual focus group sessions, a literature review, and the incorporation of community and advisory board feedback.

Findings – The digital library community is searching for ways to better understand how materials are reused and repurposed. This paper shares the initial quantitative and qualitative analysis and results of a community needs assessment conducted in 2017 and 2018 that illuminates the current and hoped for landscape of digital library reuse assessment, its strengths, weaknesses and community applications.

Originality/value – In so far as the authors are aware, this is the first paper to examine with a broad lens the reuse assessment needs of the digital library community. The preliminary analysis and initial findings have not been previously published.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPerformance Measurement and Metrics
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 4 2018

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Value
  • Digital libraries
  • Repositories
  • Reuse
  • Cultural heritage organizations

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