Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

"This book provides an overview of the digital turn in libraries. It is informed by the rich and varied professional experience of its author, by extensive research across several national and international contexts, and by a rare synthesizing ability. It fills a clear gap in the library literature, exploring technical and research developments from the perspective of evolving library services and organization."
--Lorcan Dempsey

Calhoun's textbook is a highly readable, thought-provoking authoritative and in-depth treatment of the digital library arena. It provides an up-to-date overview of the progress, nature and future impact of digital libraries, from their collections and technology-centered foundations over two decades ago to their emergent, community-centered engagement with the social web. This landmark text 

  • Brings students and working librarians up to date on the progress, nature and impact of digital libraries, bridging the gap since the publication of the best-known digital library texts
  • Frames digital library research and practice in the context of the social web and makes the case for moving beyond collections to a new emphasis on libraries' value to their communities
  • Introduces several new frameworks and novel syntheses that elucidate digital library themes, suggest strategic directions, and break new ground in the digital library literature
  • Calls attention to digital library research, but is written from the perspective of strategy and in-depth experience
  • Provides a global perspective and integrates material from many sources in one place - the chapters on open repositories and hybrid libraries draw together past, present and prospective work in a way that is unique in the literature

Exploring Digital Libraries suits the needs of a range of readers, from working librarians and library leaders to LIS students and educators, or anyone who wants a highly readable and thought-provoking overview of the field and its importance to the future of libraries.

1. Emergence and definitions of digital libraries     Overview    The emergence of digital libraries (1991-2001)    Early digital-library projects    Definitions of digital libraries    Conclusion 2. Outcomes of digital libraries' first decade     Overview    A new field of research and practice    The transformation of scholarly communication processes    Technical innovations    Digitization and digital preservation    Metadata and standards    Working digital libraries    Conclusion    References to websites in Table 2.1 3. Key themes and challenges in digital libraries     Overview    The key themes of digital library work    Key challenges    Conclusion 4. Digital Library Collections: Repositories     Overview    The traditional library worldview    Repositories, libraries and the web    The evolution of digital library repositories    Conclusion 5. Hybrid Libraries     Overview    Changing information-seeking behaviors    Libraries' response: changing hybrid library collections    Changing technologies for hybrid libraries    Conclusion 6. Social Roles of Digital Libraries     Overview    Introduction    Foundations of digital libraries' social roles    A possible framework of social roles    Conclusion 7. Digital Libraries and their Communities     Overview    Approach    Successful, sustainable digital libraries    Inception: Purpose and focus    Inception: Branding and awareness    Creation: Community and needs orientation    Creation: User-centered design, ease of use and reliability    Growth: Quality content    Maturity: Funding and sustainability    Conclusion 8. The Prospects of Open Access Repositories     Overview    Successful subject-based repositories    The value of institutional repositories    The policy and legal frameworks    Deposit mandates    Other issues with self-archiving    ‘Google has won'    Making institutional repositories more valuable    Future of repositories    Conclusion 9. Digital Libraries and the Social Web: Scholarship     Overview    Introduction    Background: Web 2.0 and Library 2.0    What is the social web?    Digital libraries and the social web    Digital libraries' social evolution: a visual framework    Scholarship    From personalization to collaboration    Scholarly collaboration on the social web    Conclusion 10. Digital Libraries and the Social Web: Collections and Platforms     Overview    Visualizing the shift from collections to platforms    The dilemma of the national or local collections focus    Optimizing the reach and visibility of digital libraries    Mass digitization and digital libraries    Large-scale digital libraries, portals and platforms    Crowdsourcing and citizen science    Conclusion

Karen Calhoun

Karen Calhoun leads organizational change and strategic initiatives for the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh. She has held senior leadership positions at Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and Cornell University Library. Her career has focused on academic research libraries and global library cooperatives with particular emphasis on redesigning services for the digital age. She is the author of the new book Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects.

"Unlike anything that has come before. This is because it comes from the perspective of a practitioner ... I would imagine that this will be required reading in library schools for many years to come."--The Digital Shift

"[Calhoun] merges the disparate worlds of computer science and library science together in a masterful way. She uses the history to create a robust platform for understanding digital libraries today … in essence making the field feel relevant and refreshed."--R. David Lankes

"From the ‘cloud’ to ‘community,’ and from the ‘mass digitization’ to the ‘digital divide,’ Calhoun has meticulously covered everything the reader needs to know … This is a book by a librarian for other librarians, and that really is what makes this book stand out. This is a must-have reference for the library, and it will be especially helpful to those librarians looking to understand where the digital library has been, where it stands now, where it may be going, and how we, as librarians, can most effectively employ digital libraries for our communities."

”Readers will want to consult this text several times for the detailed citations, informative tables, and graphics … In this book [Calhoun] combines her extensive knowledge and research to offer an important resource for the library and archives communities to think innovatively about the role digital libraries have on society so they can be sustainable into the future."
— Technical Services Quarterly

”Well-organized and timely … a thorough examination of the past, present, and future prospects of digital libraries, and I recommend it to students, scholars, and practicing librarians."
— Portal: Libraries and the Academy

”Because the book is packed with so many topics, it allows the reader to learn about areas that are often glossed over in the daily running of a library ... This really is a must read for those working in the digital library environment and for those who wish to explore digital library concepts further."
— Online Information Review

”Extremely informative and well researched. There is a vast amount of information condensed into its 322 pages. This book would be a valuable read for any librarian, archivist, or information technology professional who is working with or has an interest in digital collections."
— Technicalities