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Use and Usability Assessment of Digital Libraries, Digital Libraries Federation White Paper

The User Studies Working Group, one of four working groups in the DLF Assessment Interest Group (AIG), has released the white paper “Surveying the Landscape: Use and Usability Assessment of Digital Libraries.”


Megan Hurst, of Athenaeum21, served on the Review Team for the white paper. The research project and writing of the white paper spanned over a year, and was carried out by a team from US research libraries and supporting organizations.


“Surveying the Landscape” identifies the strengths and gaps in the current literature on three topics related to use and usability of digital libraries:


Making usability studies more accessible to librarians (“usability studies”)


Tracking the return on investment (ROI) for digital libraries (“return on investment”)


Developing a better understanding of the reuse of digital library materials (“content reuse”)


Building on this white paper, the User Studies Working Group will begin work on two new projects in 2016. Next steps will be shared with the working group in the coming weeks. 


Questions or comments about the white paper or how to get involved with the User Studies Working Group, can be directed to Santi Thompson (sathompson3 -at- uh -dot- edu).


DLF User Studies Working Group:

Joyce Chapman, Duke University

Jody DeRidder, University of Alabama

Megan Hurst, Athenaeum21 Consulting

Elizabeth Joan Kelly, Loyola University New Orleans

Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries

Caroline Muglia, University of Southern California

Genya O’Gara, Virtual Library of Virginia

Ayla Stein, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Santi Thompson, University of Houston 

Rachel Trent, George Washington University

Liz Woolcott, Utah State University

Tao Zhang, Purdue University

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