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Digital library users: a case study on needs, expectations and skills


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Convegno "Cultural Heritage on line", organizzato dalla Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale Firenze 2009

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Digital library users: a case study on needs, expectations and skills

  1. 1. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 The digital library users: 
 a case study on needs, expectations and skills Anna Maria Tammaro Università di Parma
  2. 2. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Introduction □ Results of the Digital Libraries Applications Project promoted by Digital Renaissance Foundation ! □ realised by Project Study Group: including experts of cultural institutions, researchers from universities and projects coordinators
  3. 3. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Applications of digital libraries
 Evaluation model Cultural Institutions Users Context Output Outcomes Approaches and strategies of Digital Libraries Applications -! -Delphi experts professional contributions; ! - Specific activities held in Italy
 ! -Funcionalities and contents available Needs, priorities, service perceptions
 Demographical analysis of users 
 Socio-economic factors which have an impact on applications of digital libraries uses User satisfaction: measured as GAP between user priorities and perceptions ! Frequency of use of digital resources and services Cultural Institution Mission fulfillment. ! Measurement: -! -How much Digital Libray support users usual activities? -! - What would not be possible without the Digital Library?
  4. 4. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Aim and objectives □ Aim: Stimulate a culture of excellence in digital library services ! □ Objectives: ! ■ Test a common methodology for user studies ! ■ Comparison and benchmarking of best practices
  5. 5. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Research questions □ What user needs are essential? What desiderable? ! □ How can digital libraries be useful for users? ! □ How can digital libraries improve their services?
  6. 6. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Applications of Digital Libraries ! ■ Functionalities and contents ! ■ User approach: case studies
  7. 7. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Digital collections and services Digital resources □ E-Journals □ E-books, □ Data Bases □ CDROM, □ Learning material, □ Audiovisual and multimedia, □ Dissertations and student’s works Services □ OPAC, □ Remote access □ Portal/site, □ User education □ Promotion, □ Staff assistance
  8. 8. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Access functionalities ■ Functionalities different from information retrieval (navigation, virtual space for collaboration, etc); ■ Links and other form of collaboration with other cultural institutions (formal and informal collaboration); ■ Integration of different digital collections with one access interface (and personalisation); ■ Interaction with the user (not only unidirectional communication).
  9. 9. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Methodology □ Fieldwork: 4 case studies ■ Limited to users inside the physical library ■ Not including not users ! ! □ Questionnaire and Structured Interviews
  10. 10. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Data analysis Analysis factors Survey Tools Data Who are digital libraries users? Questionnaire Structured interview Demographic data What are users expectations for digital resources and services? What are they satisfied with? What is the impact of digital resources and services? Questionnaire Structured interview Users priorities for digital resources and services Advantage of the digital libraries Impact on users activities What digital library user wishes? What is the user’ service perception? What are they not satisfied? Questionnaire Structured interview Internet knowledge level Web site knowledge level Digital Library knowledge level Use Frequency Use Issues What are user suggestions? Questionnaire Structured interview Open question Cultural institutions coordination User and staff education
  11. 11. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Demographical data □ UNIFI: students, from 25 to 40 years, average knowledge of Internet, familiar with the Library system site; □ Mediateca:young people and students, from 19 to 25 years, average knowledge of Internet, remote and in site users; □ IMSS: professionals and researchers, from 32 to 76 years, very good knowledge of Internet, frequent remote and in site users.
  12. 12. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 User satisfaction Satisfied □ Remote access ! □ Portal Not satisfied □ Promotion □ Equipment □ User education □ Staff assistance
  13. 13. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Services: User priorities Comparazione priorità degli utenti - Servizi 0 10 20 30 40 Accesso remoto Portale Corsi Tutorial Promozione Assistenza Mediateca IMSS UNIFI
  14. 14. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Digital resources: user priorities Top □ OPAC ! □ Data Bases ! □ E-journals Other □ E-book ! □ Audiovisual ! □ Learning material ! □ Dissertations
  15. 15. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Digital Resources – Users priorities
 Comparazione priorità degli utenti - Risorse 0 13 25 38 50 Catalogo in linea Ebooks CDROM Audiovisivi Mediateca IMSS UNIFI
  16. 16. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Impact □ Faster services ! □ Extension of resources available ■ (however not sufficient)
  17. 17. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Improvement ! □ Easier use of OPAC and Data Bases ! □ Integration of the digital collections ! □ Personalisation
  18. 18. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Conclusion □ Obviously, the user plays an important role in the digital library, but which role, is very often hard to define. □ Indeed the specific demands of the user may be difficult to know. The user group may differ, depending on the type of institution and the mission of the cultural institution.
  19. 19. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Perspective □ We can develop services that better meet our users’ expectations by comparing our digital library’s data with that of peer institutions and examining the practices of those digital libraries that are evaluated highly by their users.
  20. 20. A M Tammaro DRF 2006 Thanks for attention! ! ! □