Digital Library User Studies

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Abstract: As the environment changes we also have to change ourselves accordingly. This is the era of digital libraries varied from the traditional libraries, so the users and their needs have to be continuously monitored by studying them. This paper focuses on some common blocks and dumb terminals in satisfying user needs and also illustrates various techniques used for user studies. It includes one real life international case study which will help the participants to get a better understanding what studies could be particularly helpful according to the products and services they develop how to involve users in digital library evaluation, and how to engage better with users.
Keywords: User studies, User needs, Methods of user studies
Scope:
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 Mostly existing digital libraries are evaluated:- Digital libraries in development are addressed less frequently. But at the same time knowing more about the users before a digital library is developed is essential for delivery of content and services which would match better those for whom the digital libraries are created.
 Stand Alone studies:- They address a specific digital library or a small group of digital libraries. It is much rarer to find studies which contextualise the specific digital library within the larger picture of the digital library domain. An example of a study which looks at the larger picture are J. CHERRY and W. DUFF “Studying digital library users over time” and L. PATERSON and B. LOW’s “Usability Inspection of Digital Libraries”, but there is definitely need for more studies looking at the evaluation from a broader
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The work on the project was completed between September 2008 and May 2009 by CDLR and CERLIM (The Centre for Research in Library and Information Management) at the Manchester Metropolitan University. The project had as its primary goal to study the user needs in digitised special collections in the higher education institutions in the UK. Traditionally, digitisation of cultural and scientific heritage material for use by the scholarly community has been led by supply rather than demand. JISC’s recent Digitisation Strategy [J08], however, makes clear their commitment to re-focussing digitisation efforts to make them most valuable to direct users of digitised materials, including researchers, teachers and students. The project was constructed as a set of inter-connected tasks aimed at assessing the current landscape of digitisation of special collections from the point of view of the needs of the researcher and teachers within UK higher education institutions. It included several components: - compiling a long list of collections nominated for digitisation by users (it includes 945 nominations). - constructing a framework of criteria for user-driven prioritisation of digitisation. - illustrating how

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