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Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects
Karen Calhoun
Item Number: 978-1-55570-985-3
Publisher: ALA Neal-Schuman
Price: $98.00
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352 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-1-55570-985-3
Year Published: 2014
AP Categories: A, C, I, X

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"This book provides an overview of the digital turn in libraries. It is informed by the rich and varied professional experience of its author, by extensive research across several national and international contexts, and by a rare synthesizing ability. It fills a clear gap in the library literature, exploring technical and research developments from the perspective of evolving library services and organization."
--Lorcan Dempsey

Calhoun’s textbook is a highly readable, thought-provoking authoritative and in-depth treatment of the digital library arena. It 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. 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
Exploring Digital Libraries suits the needs of a range of readers, from working librarians and library leaders to LIS students and educators, or anyone who wants a highly readable and thought-provoking overview of the field and its importance to the future of libraries.

Table of Contents

1. Emergence and definitions of digital libraries

    The emergence of digital libraries (1991-2001)
    Early digital-library projects
    Definitions of digital libraries

2. Outcomes of digital libraries’ first decade

    A new field of research and practice
    The transformation of scholarly communication processes
    Technical innovations
    Digitization and digital preservation
    Metadata and standards
    Working digital libraries
    References to websites in Table 2.1

3. Key themes and challenges in digital libraries

    The key themes of digital library work
    Key challenges

4. Digital Library Collections: Repositories

    The traditional library worldview
    Repositories, libraries and the web
    The evolution of digital library repositories

5. Hybrid Libraries

    Changing information-seeking behaviors
    Libraries’ response: changing hybrid library collections
    Changing technologies for hybrid libraries

6. Social Roles of Digital Libraries

    Foundations of digital libraries’ social roles
    A possible framework of social roles

7. Digital Libraries and their Communities

    Successful, sustainable digital libraries
    Inception: Purpose and focus
    Inception: Branding and awareness
    Creation: Community and needs orientation
    Creation: User-centered design, ease of use and reliability
    Growth: Quality content
    Maturity: Funding and sustainability

8. The Prospects of Open Access Repositories

    Successful subject-based repositories
    The value of institutional repositories
    The policy and legal frameworks
    Deposit mandates
    Other issues with self-archiving
    ‘Google has won’
    Making institutional repositories more valuable
    Future of repositories

9. Digital Libraries and the Social Web: Scholarship

    Background: Web 2.0 and Library 2.0
    What is the social web?
    Digital libraries and the social web
    Digital libraries’ social evolution: a visual framework
    From personalization to collaboration
    Scholarly collaboration on the social web

10. Digital Libraries and the Social Web: Collections and Platforms

    Visualizing the shift from collections to platforms
    The dilemma of the national or local collections focus
    Optimizing the reach and visibility of digital libraries
    Mass digitization and digital libraries
    Large-scale digital libraries, portals and platforms
    Crowdsourcing and citizen science

About the Author

Karen 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.

"Unlike anything that has come before. This is because it comes from the perspective of a practitioner ... I would imagine that this will be required reading in library schools for many years to come."
--The Digital Shift

"[Calhoun] merges the disparate worlds of computer science and library science together in a masterful way. She uses the history to create a robust platform for understanding digital libraries today … in essence making the field feel relevant and refreshed."
--R. David Lankes

"From the ‘cloud’ to ‘community,’ and from the ‘mass digitization’ to the ‘digital divide,’ Calhoun has meticulously covered everything the reader needs to know … This is a book by a librarian for other librarians, and that really is what makes this book stand out. This is a must-have reference for the library, and it will be especially helpful to those librarians looking to understand where the digital library has been, where it stands now, where it may be going, and how we, as librarians, can most effectively employ digital libraries for our communities."

”Readers will want to consult this text several times for the detailed citations, informative tables, and graphics … In this book [Calhoun] combines her extensive knowledge and research to offer an important resource for the library and archives communities to think innovatively about the role digital libraries have on society so they can be sustainable into the future."
— Technical Services Quarterly

”Well-organized and timely … a thorough examination of the past, present, and future prospects of digital libraries, and I recommend it to students, scholars, and practicing librarians."
— Portal: Libraries and the Academy

”Because the book is packed with so many topics, it allows the reader to learn about areas that are often glossed over in the daily running of a library ... This really is a must read for those working in the digital library environment and for those who wish to explore digital library concepts further."
— Online Information Review

”Extremely informative and well researched. There is a vast amount of information condensed into its 322 pages. This book would be a valuable read for any librarian, archivist, or information technology professional who is working with or has an interest in digital collections."
— Technicalities

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