ProcASIST2001 - In: Proceedings of the American Society for...

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In: Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology , (2001), vol. 38, pp. 209-223. A survey of digital library education Tefko Saracevic , Marija Dalbello Rutgers University , New Brunswick, New Jersey Abstract The concept of digital library has several differing interpretations, derived from different communities involved in digital library research, practice, organization, and commerce. Educational offerings followed these activities. The major aim of the paper is to present results from a survey on the current state of digital library education in academic institutions. But we also examine the rationale and orientation for digital library education. We suggest several models that have emerged in the teaching of digital libraries and in incorporation of relevant topics into various curricula. INTRODUCTION Digital library is a term and concept that serves as an umbrella for a great many of diverse activities. Virtual library, electronic library, library without walls and a few other terms have also been used to carry a similar connotation, but the term 'digital library' seems to be here to stay. But what does this concept cover? A number of differing interpretations exist, as formulated by sharply different and divided communities that have something to do with digital libraries. In this paper we are concerned with education for digital libraries. Clearly, the differing interpretations of what is meant by digital library, as well as what topics or activities are covered provide necessary educational context(s) and perspective for choices and orientation from curricula to courses to topics. The classic educational questions, asked about teaching in all educational areas, are being asked in great many institutions in relation to digital libraries: 1. Why teach digital libraries? 2. What to teach about digital libraries? 3. How to teach about digital libraries? The first question relates to specification of a rationale to incorporate teaching of digital libraries in a given educational perspective, framework, curriculum, or even course -- there is much more to a rationale than pragmatically saying: "It is there, thus we teach." The second question deals with selection of content from a myriad of topics from general to specific that are directly connected with digital libraries and are based on the chosen rationale. The third question gets to choices not necessarily only of pedagogy, but more importantly, of ways and means to incorporate and organize the chosen topics into given curricula, courses, and offerings. In this paper we explore the three questions in an analytical way and with the 'real world' as a primary source. Our goal is not to be prescriptive. For the question on rationale, we briefly explore the nature and growth of different activities related to digital libraries. Their existence is forcing educational choices. For the second question, we explore the different conceptions of digital libraries as perceived in different communities. The third question
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2009 for the course A a taught by Professor A during the Spring '09 term at Dallas Baptist.

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ProcASIST2001 - In: Proceedings of the American Society for...

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