For immediate release | October 2, 2012

User studies for digital library development

CHICAGO — As the information environment becomes increasingly electronic, digital libraries have proliferated, but the focus has often been on innovations in technology and not the user. “User Studies For Digital Library Development,” published by Facet Publishing and available through Neal-Schuman Publishers, focuses on the feedback that matters most when developing digital services: the library users. Research and analysis of users is essential to fine-tune the content and approach of digital libraries, and this landmark guide by Milena Dobreva, Andy O'Dwyer and Pierluigi Feliciati explores the place and methods of user studies in digital libraries and explains the different types of studies. Offering methods to ensure libraries are effective, accessible and sustainable in the long term, this book covers such key topics as:

  • The place of user studies in digital libraries;
  • Explaining user-centric studies, information behavior and user experience studies;
  • User-study methods, including surveys, questionnaires, expert evaluation methods, eye tracking, deep log analysis, personae and ethnographic studies;
  • Critical issues such as evaluation of digital libraries, digital preservation, social media, the shift to mobile devices and ethics;
  • How user studies function in different types of institutions, from libraries, archives and museums to audiovisual collections and art collections;
  • The future of user studies.

Dobreva is a senior researcher at CDLR, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. She managed the DiSCmap project on user priorities in digitization of special collections and coordinated the Europeana user and functionality study.

O'Dwyer has been with the BBC since 1986 applying technical solutions to the long term preservation of broadcast material. He has managed several European collaborative projects providing online access to parts of the BBC's newly digitized content.

Feliciati is a researcher at the University of Macerata, Italy.

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. Neal-Schuman purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

Related Links

"User Studies For Digital Library Development"

"The Digital Librarian's Legal Handbook"

"Building and Managing E-Book Collections"


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