DLI2 for Real Users
Nan Seamans, director, Center for Alternative Media
to Ed Fox, May 1998
Coming at this from a library and New Media Center perspective, I am most interested in the user-focused aspects of the project, including such things as:
- development and maintenance (ongoing) of a valued and valuable digital library collection, including development of guidelines/schema for quality filtering and/or vetting materials to be included in the collection
- integration of high-touch (traditional) and high-tech (digital) library functions in a way that is comfortable and familiar for users;
- assessment of the role of the librarian in the evolutionary process of the digital library where the role is changing to that of an information navigator;
- assessment of digital library users' ability to assimilate large quantities of data in variable formats;
- implementation of effective methodologies for user re-use of digital library materials;
- identification of skills sets needed by digital library users (including what skills users initially have and what must be acquired for efficient use), and providing users with opportunities to learn and hone those skills;
- evaluation (ongoing) of the effectiveness of this method of information delivery.
As a graduate student, I am also interested in developing one of these areas into a line of research, and though I'm in the early stages of this. I think I am looking specifically at the ethnographic and cultural implications of this kind of technology.
- Use of the word "library" indicates to the population in general an idea of quality and authority which will be lost if there is not a collection-management function implicit in the digital library.
- Also implicit in use of the work "library" is the concept of assistance being provided to users, which needs to be maintained and expanded, using all available means, in he digital environment. Widespread digital literacy, or information literacy, is necessary in order for the digital library to be universally useful. The success of information literacy efforts will impact the dynamics of how assistance is and will be provided.
Nancy H. Seamans (http://www.nmc.vt.edu/)
Virginia Tech, University Libraries
July 10, 1998 (GMc)