Digital Library Use: Social Practice in Design and Evaluation / Edition 1

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Overview

The contributors to this volume view digital libraries (DLs) from a social as well as technological perspective. They see DLs as sociotechnical systems,networks of technology, information artifacts, and people and practices interacting with the larger world of work and society. As Bruce Schatz observes in his foreword,for a digital library to be useful, the users, the documents, and the information system must be in harmony.The contributors begin by asking how we evaluate DLs — how we can understand them in order to build better DLs — but they move beyond these basic concerns to explore how DLs make a difference in people's lives and their social worlds, and what studying DLs might tell us about information,knowledge, and social and cognitive processes. The chapters, using both empirical and analytical methods, examine the social impact of DLs and also the web of social and material relations in which DLs are embedded; these far-ranging social worlds include such disparate groups as community activists, environmental researchers,middle-school children, and computer system designers.Topics considered include documents and society; the real boundaries of a "library without walls"; the ecologies of digital libraries; usability and evaluation; information and institutional change; transparency as a product of the convergence of social practices and information artifacts; and collaborative knowledge construction in digital libraries.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262025447
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2000
  • Series: Digital Libraries and Electronic Publishing
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,171,033
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Peterson Bishop is Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Barbara P. Buttenfield is Professor, Department of Geography, University of Colorado, Boulder.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 Introduction: Digital Libraries as Sociotechnical Systems 1
2 Documents and Libraries: A Sociotechnical Perspective 25
3 Finding the Boundaries of the Library without Walls 43
4 An Ecological Perspective on Digital Libraries 65
5 Designing Digital Libraries for Usability 85
6 The People in Digital Libraries: Multifaceted Approaches to Assessing Needs and Impact 119
7 Participatory Action Research and Digital Libraries: Reframing Evaluation 161
8 Colliding with the Real World: Heresies and Unexplored Questions about Audience, Economics, and Control of Digital Libraries 191
9 Information and Institutional Change: The Case of Digital Libraries 219
10 Transparency beyond the Individual Level of Scale: Convergence between Information Artifacts and Communities of Practice 241
11 Digital Libraries and Collaborative Knowledge Construction 271
12 The Flora of North America Project: Making the Case [Study] for Social Realist Theory 297
List of Contributors 329
Index 335
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