DLF Forum 2023: Get to Know DLF’s Assessment Interest Group

This post is part of a series authored by DLF’s working group leaders to acquaint you with their work, and how you can get involved, leading up to the 2023 DLF Forum.

Though the annual Forum is DLF’s signature event, our working groups collaborate year round. DLF’s working groups organize across institutional and geographical boundaries to collaborate and get stuff done. Working group participation is open to anyone interested in getting involved, regardless of whether or not you work or study at a DLF member organization

Attending the 2023 DLF Forum and interested in assessment? Don’t miss sessions Tu01 (Assessment Insights: Repository Preservation, Content Reuse, and Crowdsourced Impact) and Tu16 (Exploring Repository Reflections: Assessments and Infrastructure in Digital Platforms)


The formation of the Assessment Interest Group (AIG) came out of two working sessions at DLF Forum in 2013 – “Determining Assessment Strategies for Digital Libraries and Institutional Repositories Using Usage Statistics and Altmetrics” and “Hunting for Best Practices in Digital Library Assessment”. Wanting to continue the conversation started in these sessions, a working group that sought to engage the community in developing best practices and guidelines for digital library assessment was formed in Spring 2014. From that beginning, nine working groups have targeted specific areas of digital library assessment. These groups have produced a number of different resources including white papers, toolkits, bibliographies and more. Of these nine working groups, there are five that are currently active. They are the AIG Content Reuse Working Group, AIG Cost Assessment Working Group, AIG Cultural Assessment Working Group, AIG Metadata Working Group, and AIG User Experience (UX) Working Group, and you can read more about them below.


Members of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Assessment Interest Group (AIG) Cost Working Group collect, aggregate, and share data on the time and money required for digitization processes, such as project planning and benchmarking. The current focus of our group is on data analysis of past surveys for digitization costs, including best practices, equipment vendors, images per linear feet, reformatting service vendors, and the 2021 Survey of Still Image Digitization Cost Assessment. A white paper and data will be published in January 2024.

This year the Cost group also hosted three discussion sessions for digitization practitioners to come together and share their experiences.  Topics covered: a joint session with the DLF Project Managers Group on digitization workflow tools in April; OCR, handwriting recognition software, and speech-to-text tools in June; and digitization vendors and the results from the Vendor Registry subgroup’s survey in August.  This fall the group is completing summaries from the three discussion sessions for publication and will be discussing our goals for 2024.

The Cost Working Group  meets on the second Monday of the month at 3pm (eastern) / 2pm (central) / 1pm (mountain) / 12pm (pacific) through zoom.  For more information about the group, contact the co-coordinators: Rachel Senese (rsenese@gsu.edu) and Julia Simic (jsimic@uoregon.edu).


Throughout 2023, the Cultural Assessment Working Group (CAWG) held monthly meetings fostering discussion and exploration of topics related to cultural assessment and inclusive practice in digital libraries. Meetings have alternated between our Reading + Discussion group format one month and focused task force work on the Inclusive Metadata Toolkit the next. Over the last year, the group has read and discussed resources on topics such as managing bias in collections data, RBMS controlled vocabularies, accessibility metadata, and the D-CRAFT Toolkit. These Reading + Discussion sessions are open for anyone to attend, as well as to suggest a reading or resource for discussion. We post the reading for each month to the CAWG email list in advance of the meeting, and also have time for quick review during the session.

2023 also saw a leadership change in the group, with Hannah Skates-Kettler rotating off. We thank Hannah for her incredible leadership of the group and are grateful she is staying on as a member.

The Inclusive Metadata Task Force is working toward publishing the Inclusive Metadata Toolkit and is aiming to finalize it in 2024. The Toolkit is meant to provide a breadth of resources to support a wide range of practitioners interested in inclusive metadata, from folks who are just getting started and are looking for language to help with fostering conversations at their own organizations, to those who may be already in the midst of remediation projects, and are looking for more specific examples of workflows and tools for ongoing, iterative metadata maintenance. There has been a lot of work already done on this toolkit over several years and we are looking for more participants to help shape the toolkit to its final form for publication. In particular, we welcome contributors who are interested in sharing case studies and/or example workflows based on experiences within your organization, or who would like to review and provide analysis of published case studies. Additionally, we are currently seeking to increase coverage in two topical areas: 1) advocacy for inclusive metadata work within and across organizations 2) examples of approaches to DEI-focused metadata audits and assessments into departmental routines and standard workflows.

Anyone interested in getting involved with CAWG and the Inclusive Metadata Toolkit is invited to to view the CAWG wiki which has more information and join our Google Group.


The Metadata Assessment Working Group (MWG) started in 2016 and works on a variety of projects related to metadata quality assessment.  At the beginning of each year, our first discussions are a time to brainstorm and choose projects for the next year, based on the interests of meeting participants.

This year, the MWG has been focusing on updating our web presence and promoting ongoing work, which includes a number of resources and informational text related to metadata assessment, including:

Members are also exploring a number of other assessment-related topics such as benchmarking and metadata documentation, which we hope will lead to additional resources for practitioners.

For more information:


The Content Reuse Working Group develops recommended practices and approaches for the assessment of digital object reuse. From July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2023, members of the working group undertook the Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT) project. The D-CRAFT Project Team and Consultants used a multimodal approach to develop the toolkit to aid digital library practitioners in assessing reuse of the digital objects in their collections. D-CRAFT includes Ethical Considerations and Guidelines for the Assessment of Use and Reuse of Digital Content, toolkit recommended practices for collecting reuse assessment data, and interactive engagement and education tools to help train practitioners on the toolkit recommended practices.

The D-CRAFT project was sponsored by an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant (LG-36-19-0036-19).

With the launch of D-CRAFT completed, members of the Content Reuse Working Group will concentrate on two immediate tasks: publishing an open access, peer-reviewed paper, detailing project methodology, deliverables, and conclusions, and devising a sustainability plan for the toolkit.

Those interested in learning more about D-CRAFT or the Content Reuse Working Group can contact Santi Thompson at sathomp3@central.uh.edu.


The User Experience (UX) sub-group supports practitioners in the areas of user experience, user research, user interface design, and similar work. We engage as a community of practice where members can bring questions, discuss challenges, and ask for feedback on projects. The group is also working on a collaborative project aimed to elucidate practices and processes for user experience research that spans digital and physical spaces. To this end, the group is currently reviewing the literature on this topic with the goal of developing a best practices document for practitioners.

Current work:

  • Monthly meetings
  • Community of practice time and space provided each meeting
  • Reviewing literature on research methods that span both physical and digital space

The group is hoping to build on what we learn from our ongoing literature review in order to create documentation and other artifacts that can assist UX practitioners in this emerging area.

Contact Jess Waggoner at jspencer@ucsc.edu to learn more about the DLF AIG-UX group.

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