bookThis book comes in an emerged context of intense transformations in the digital library area. In the major digital library conferences at both sides of the Atlantic Ocean researchers organized workshops to circulate in a focused environment their concerns about the development of this area, such as the “Digital Library Evaluation: Metrics, Testbeds, and Processes” workshop in ECDL2003 and the “Studying Digital Library Users In the Wild: Theories, Methods, and Analytical Approaches” workshop in JCDL2005. Several other initiatives organized workshops in search of a formalized state-of-the-art, like the DELOS Workshop on Evaluation of Digital Libraries in Padua, Italy.

The book deals with issues that both the theoretical and practical aspects of digital library evaluation, such as reasons for evaluation, processes, tools and methodologies and prospective outcomes. The approach of inviting experts to write specific chapters ensures the quality by expertise, while the editorial management of the proposing editors guarantees a coherent and easy to read work of thorough knowledge on this area.

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Reviews

In general, the book helps the reader to better understand the multiple facets of evaluation, although it tends to focus more on the user-centric side. It is indeed a good insight into “useful applications and methods”, as stated in its title.

by M. Dobreva in Library Review (link)

The book reviewed makes a valuable contribution by collecting together a wide range of material representing current thinking on digital library evaluation.

by A.M. Cox in Program: electronic library and information systems (link)

…the librarian interested in exploring how to carry out the evaluation of the library’s digital offerings will find a guide to help them to ask the right kinds of questions to advance further.

by T.D. Wilson in Information Research (link)

Scope

Features of uniqueness

  1. It deals with practical and theoretical issues on digital libraries development and evaluation. The book structure and the methodology for the presentation of its content is articulated on the main evaluation issues: who, what and how. This approach is quite innovative and integrated, since it covers all the practical and theoretical issues on digital library evaluation.
  2. It is multi-disciplinary due to its nature. The book makes explicit the views and perspectives of several known researchers and digital library developers, librarians, curators, information and computer scientists, who focus on a variety of scientific domains such as information retrieval, human computer interaction, information seeking and user behavior analysis, organizational and managerial theories and practices, etc. Moreover interesting case studies will be presented aiming to make the book a useful handbook for a large audience.
  3. As evaluation domain focuses on the digital libraries improvement, the book aims to present a new user-centered perception on the development of digital libraries, based on the collection and analysis of user requirements. In this framework distinguished digital library researchers and practitioners present systematically powerful methods, techniques and practices ensuring the development of useful and usable digital libraries.

Structure

Introduction: On the framework for digital library evaluation by Tefko Saracevic

Section 1: To whom it might concern

  • Chapter 1: Metrics in libraries and expectations for the evaluation of digital libraries by Brinley Franklin, Terry Plum and Martha Kyrillidou
  • Chapter 2: An agency perspective on digital library evaluation by Michael Khoo, Lee Zia and David McArthur

Section 2: What to evaluate

  • Chapter 3: What should we take into consideration when we talk about usability? by Judy Jeng
  • Chapter 4: Users and digital libraries: an insightful story by Manolis Garoufalou, Rania Siatri and Richard Hartley
  • Chapter 5: Towards an evaluation infrastructure for DL performance evaluation by Maristella Agosti and Nicola Ferro
  • Chapter 6: Employing deep log analysis to evaluate the information seeking behaviour of users of digital libraries by David Nicholas

Section 3: Behind the evaluation curtain

  • Chapter 7: The pushmepullyou of design and evaluation by Ann Blandfordand David Bainbridge
  • Chapter 8: Extending borders: outcomes assessment in the era of digital libraries by Christos Papatheodorou and Giannis Tsakonas
  • Chapter 9: Digital library service quality: what does it look like? by Martha Kyrillidou, Colleen Cook and Yvonna Lincoln

Section 4: How to evaluate

  • Chapter 10:Planning digital library evaluation with logic models by Michael Khoo and Sarah Giersch
  • Chapter 11:Examining how end-users use and perceive digital libraries: a qualitative approach by Maria Monopoli
  • Chapter 12: Investigating users’ perceptions and acceptance of digital libraries: a quantitative approach by Yin-Leng Theng