Introducing the New DLF Assessment Interest Group

This spring, a new DLF interest group has been formed on Assessment: The group was organized by Sherri Berger (California Digital Library), Joyce Chapman (State Library of North Carolina), Michelle Dalmau (Indiana University), Jody DeRidder (University of Alabama), Cristela Garcia-Spitz (University of California, San Diego), Stacy Konkiel (Impactstory), and David Scherer (Purdue University).

The new group is open to anyone interested in topics related to digital library assessment. The group will meet during the DLF Forum to share problems, ideas, and solutions. We have also formed a dedicated Google Group, where discussions will be continued year round:!forum/digital-library-assessment. The Google Group is open to anyone interested in learning about or collaborating on the improvement of digital library assessment.

The idea for the Assessment interest group arose out of two working sessions that took place at the 2013 DLF Forum in Austin, Texas. These groups were, Determining Assessment Strategies for Digital Libraries and Institutional Repositories Using Usage Statistics and Altmetrics” (led by Dalmau, Konkiel, and Scherer)[1] and “Hunting for Best Practices in Digital Library Assessment” (led by Berger, Chapman, DeRidder, Garcia-Spitz, and Lauren Menges)[2]. The first of these sessions was concerned with determining how to measure the impact of digital collections; developing areas of commonality and benchmarks in how we measure collections across various platforms; understanding cost and benefit of digital collections; and exploring how can we best collect, analyze, communicate, and share such information effectively across our various stakeholders—from collection managers to scholars. The second working session set out to test the waters for the potential of a collaborative effort to build community guidelines for best practices in digital library assessment. Their discussion was concerned with the fact thatmethods 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. The group discussed what strategic information is needed to make intelligent decisions, and how the community can best collect, analyze, and communicate that information effectively.

The two working sessions were well attended and collected over 50 email addresses of those who expressed interest in continuing the conversation. The group leaders decided to work together and form a DLF interest group as part of an ongoing conversation. Now, our vision is to build a DLF community around assessment to act as a knowledge base for sharing resources and developing best practices. Come join us!

Join the DLF Assessment Google Group!forum/digital-library-assessment

DLF Assessment Group Co-Founders

  • Sherri Berger, California Digital Library
  • Joyce Chapman, State Library of North Carolina
  • Michelle Dalmau, Indiana University
  • Jody DeRidder, University of Alabama
  • Cristela Garcia-Spitz, University of California, San Diego
  • Stacy Konkiel, Impactstory (formerly of Indiana University)
  • David Scherer, Purdue University


[1] See notes and working session documents:

[2] See working session notes:

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