For immediate release | January 29, 2014

Exploring digital libraries

CHICAGO—In “Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects,” published by ALA Neal-Schuman, Karen Calhoun offers a thought-provoking, authoritative, and in-depth treatment of the digital library arena. Her book 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. Written to suit the needs of working librarians, library leaders, LIS students, and educators, 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.

Calhoun is an internationally respected librarian and change leader. Her professional experience is wide-ranging, from providing strategic leadership for university libraries at Cornell and in Pittsburgh, to writing and speaking internationally about innovation and change, to charting a future for WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovering library resources. While her record of publication spans many topics related to the future of libraries, she is perhaps best known for "The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools," a Library of Congress-commissioned report offering a blueprint for digital-age discovery of library collections.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976 by Patricia Glass Schuman and John Vincent Neal, Neal-Schuman Publishers, now an imprint of ALA Publishing, publishes professional books for librarians, archivists, and knowledge managers. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or

Related Links

"Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects"

"Working in the Virtual Stacks: The New Library and Information Science"

"The Neal-Schuman Library Technology Companion, Fourth Edition: A Basic Guide for Library Staff"


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