For immediate release | March 7, 2013

Improving the visibility and use of digital repositories through SEO

CHICAGO — Recent OCLC surveys show that less than 2 percent of library users begin their search on a library website, which is why search engine optimization (SEO) is so crucial. And though a survey of faculty researchers at four major universities showed that most consider Google and Google Scholar amazingly effective for their research, low Google Scholar indexing ratios for library institutional repositories is widespread because it ignores common library metadata. Kenning Arlitsch and Patrick OBrien, who have presented and published widely on the topic, show how to ensure that high-value content is visible to researchers in their new book “Improving the Visibility and Use of Digital Repositories through SEO: A LITA Guide,” published by ALA TechSource. Drawing on their expertise in digital libraries and corporate marketing, they show how to mount a successful SEO strategy, including:

  • Recommended dashboards for increasing participation by sharing data;
  • Avoiding the four most common crawler errors that lead to low rankings;
  • How to effectively utilize the Google Keyword Tool;
  • The use of domain settings to generate unit-specific reports for special collections, institutional repositories and university presses.

Arlitsch is the dean of the library at Montana State University. Prior to his current position he was the associate dean for information technology services at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. He is the founder of the Mountain West Digital Library and the Utah Digital Newspapers program, as well as co-founder of the Western Waters Digital Library and the Western Soundscape Archive.

OBrien is the Semantic Web research director at the Montana State University Library. Prior to his current position he was the SEO research manager at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library. He is an expert in Semantic Web technologies and their application for improving data integration quality, discovering new relationships, and turning diverse data stores into conceptual knowledge. OBrien has more than 15 years’ experience implementing data-driven marketing and risk management strategy within various industries.

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of ALA, educates, serves and reaches out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology.

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

Related Links

"Improving the Visibility and Use of Digital Repositories through SEO: A LITA Guide"

"Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians"

"Managing Electronic Resources: A LITA Guide"


Jill Davis

Marketing Manager

ALA Editions

1-800-545-2433 ext. 5418