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D IGI QUAL TM : A D IGITAL L IBRARY E VALUATION S ERVICE BY M ARTHA K YRILLIDOU , F RED H EATH , C OLLEEN C OOK , B RUCE T HOMPSON , Y VONNA L INCOLN , AND D UANE W EBSTER R ESEARCH P APER P RESENTED AT THE 7 TH NORTHUMBRIA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT IN LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION SERVICES ( PM 7), 13-16, AUGUST 2007, SOUTH AFRICA ABSTRACT What are the components of digital library service and how do we evaluate digital library services? The development of the DigiQUAL™ protocol and its implementation at UTOPIA and other NSDL collections is described. Based on the tradition and success of traditional libraries in focusing on the needs and preferences of their users, DigiQUAL™ is based on successful LibQUAL+™ experiences. Digital libraries (DLs) are facing the need to emphasize user-based evaluation. The original attitude of ‘we will build it and they will come” is not sufficient as competition for scarce resources is felt acutely both by traditional and digital libraries. The development of DigiQUAL™ uses a mixed methods approach, both qualitative and quantitative methods, for evaluating DLs. The development of a qualitative model based on focus groups conducted at the Digital Library for Earth System Information (DLESE) and Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) was the basis for the development of a rich item bank that was used for gathering feedback on the qualities of a website that users deem important. UTOPIA, a digital library developed and supported by the University of Texas was one of the first DLs to implement DigiQUAL™ together with other NSDL collections. The findings suggest that there are similarities among the digital library collections in terms of the items they selected. This paper has implications about how we view and describe digital libraries and attempts to define the boundaries between digital libraries and the rest of the web wide world. 1. DIGITAL LIBRARIES AND DigiQUAL™ Introduction The National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded the development of digital libraries since the early 1990s. As part of that funding there has always been a component of digital library evaluation that approaches digital libraries from a sociotechnical perspective and attempts to evaluate digital libraries from a user interaction perspective rather than a merely technical component. Digital libraries (DLs) are at the intersection of computing, communications and control technologies. DLs are using technologies and computing to enhance communication and learning [1] and are often facing the challenge of developing assessment and evaluation tools that aim at understanding the self-
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sufficient information seeker that anonymously may navigate the world of the internet. For DLs to be successful, this anonymous user has to develop a sense of ownership and
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This note was uploaded on 12/21/2011 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor All during the Spring '11 term at SUNY Albany.

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