Hunting for Best Practices in Digital Library Assessment

Session Type: Working Session

Session Description
Research and cultural heritage institutions are increasingly focused on providing online access to digital special collections and archives. Since funding to these institutions is simultaneously decreasing, we need to strategically focus our efforts, and better understand and measure their value, impact, and associated costs.

However, methods in digital libraries are not yet standardized for identifying user groups; measuring usage, impact, cost and value; obtaining feedback; or analyzing results. As a result, findings cannot effectively be generalized.

What strategic information do we need to collect in order to make intelligent decisions? How can we best collect, analyze, and communicate that information effectively?

Examples of efforts to address these questions will be shared by panelists, along with problems encountered. Audience participants will be asked to help brainstorm how best to standardize evaluation methods. We are testing the waters for the potential of a collaborative effort to build community guidelines for best practices in digital library assessment. By the end of the session, we hope to have consensus on the main areas of need for establishing assessment best practices, as well as at least one actionable idea for moving towards this objective.

Session Leaders
Jody DeRidder, University of Alabama
Sherri Berger, California Digital Library
Joyce Chapman, State Library of North Carolina
Cristela Garcia-Spitz, University of California, San Diego
Lauren Menges, University of North Carolina

View the community reporting Google doc for this session.