Evaluation of Digital Libraries: An Insight into Useful Applications and Methods

Alireza Isfandyari‐Moghaddam (Islamic Azad University, Hamedan Branch, Iran)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 9 August 2011



Isfandyari‐Moghaddam, A. (2011), "Evaluation of Digital Libraries: An Insight into Useful Applications and Methods", The Electronic Library, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 555-556. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640471111156830



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The book Evaluation of Digital Libraries: An Insight into Useful Applications and Methods is a step towards filling the gap between theory and practice in digital library (DL) evaluation. It is the fruit of a team of authors who are knowledgeable in the DL domain. The work starts with an introduction written by Tefko Saracevic with the aim of offering a broader framework, context and a bit of perspective on DL evaluation. Then, 12 chapters in four parts are provided.

Part 1, “To whom it may concern” has two chapters examining the changed assessment framework for digital materials to determine what guides its development and acceptance among librarians; and reporting a webometric case evaluation done by the National Science Foundation on the National Science Digital Library. Part 2, “What to place under the evaluation lens”, has four chapters dealing with usability and its framework; the importance of users when DLs are evaluated; the revision of current evaluation methodologies to adapt to the new ways of thinking about DLs development; and deep log analysis for better understanding user activity in DLs. Part 3, “Behind the evaluation curtain” consists of three chapters concerning the interaction of design and evaluation in line with user needs; outcomes assessment; and DL service quality. The last of these discusses current approaches to quality assessment like LibQual and DigiQual. Part 4: “How to conduct an evaluation activity” attempts to provide readers with the ways of planning DL evaluation via logic models, examining how end‐users use and perceive DLs through a qualitative user‐centered approach, and investigating users' perceptions and acceptance of DLs by means of a quantitative approach.

Each chapter ends with a list of references, but the book suffers from the lack of having all references compiled into a single bibliography. Lists of figures and tables, of contributors, and of abbreviations, are included as preliminary pages. There is also an index at the end of the book. Regardless of the helpful papers in the book, it is suggested that in future editions two chapters deal individually with the evaluation of functionality and accessibility of DLs. This book is of value for a variety of audiences including library managers, and technology‐minded staff and especially students, professors, and researchers in the fields of LIS and computer science.

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