Anna Maria Tammaro (Department of Information Engineering, University of Parma, Parma, Italy)
Juan D. Machin-Mastromatteo (Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 23 January 2023

Issue publication date: 23 January 2023



Tammaro, A.M. and Machin-Mastromatteo, J.D. (2023), "Editorial", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 1-2. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLP-02-2023-138



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

In just over two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the role and perception of digitization in our societies and economies, accelerating their digital transformation. Digital technologies are now indispensable for working, learning, entertaining, socializing, shopping and accessing information, everything from health services to culture. However, the pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of our digital space, the gap of capacities and skills, the lack of infrastructure and the impact of disinformation on our democratic societies.

The experience of the pandemic has also demonstrated the decisive role that innovation can play for libraries that can extend the traditional role and are expected to offer services such as contrasting the digital divide and the information manipulation, giving support to scholars for research data management and facilitating students engaged in e-learning.

In light of these opportunities and challenges, our stated aim and scope is more relevant than ever:

Papers published in Digital Library Perspectives promote the digital transformation and the development of digital libraries constructed, collected and organized – by and for – a community of users, and their functional capabilities for supporting the information needs and uses of that community.

Our objective is to engage interdisciplinary communities around Digital Library Perspectives to share knowledge and research experiences toward digital transformation and a more prosperous digital future for our societies.

This issue opens with a study on information seeking behavior for health information. Eric Boamah (New Zealand) and Andrews Adjei Druye (Ghana) in “Understanding the information culture for self-management support of people living with diabetes in Ghana” explore the information behavior of people living with diabetes mellitus and how this affects their self-management practices in Ghana. The article describes information behavior and cultural patterns of information and highlights the need for patients to effectively manage information for sustainable self-management. This is the first study in Ghana examining how people define their need for health information, how they identify the source of information and how they access and use information, including their information behavior patterns that influence these information experiences.

For academic libraries, digital transformation is driven by the changing behavior of scholars sharing data in the open science framework. The academic community needs new support services.

Plato Smith (USA) in “Exploring electronic lab notebooks (ELN) at a R1 institution in the Southeast United States of America” aims to build a better understanding of researchers’ needs for research data management using ELN, also known as an electronic research notebook. The findings reveal that there is no single institutional ELN licensing solution that meets the needs of all scientific disciplines. The survey was the first exploration of the ELN on campus, resulting in a final report for senior stakeholders and the case study may be of interest to other academic libraries.

For academic libraries, one might wonder what personalization of services includes. Samaneh Rezaei Khavidaki, Saeed Sharifabadi and Amir Ghaebi (Iran) in “Services personalization in digital academic libraries: a Delphi study” have carried out literature reviews to obtain relevant indicators of different types of service personalization in the context of libraries and subsequently used a Delphi method. The Delphi panel consisted of 15 experts (faculty members, researchers, professional users and software designers) and the Delphi process was performed in three rounds. The research results can be useful in understanding how to personalize the services.

Open Education fosters learning and drives the digital transformation of education. Digital videos are regularly used as teaching materials to integrate instruction in K-12 and Dan Albertson (USA) in “Content, tools, and surrogates: assessing K-12 teachers’ criteria for interactively searching for digital video” investigates how teachers search for videos and reuse them in their assignments and teaching activities. This study represents an important step forward in understanding teachers’ video-seeking behavior and will help to satisfy teachers’ information needs.

The research of Kiran Kaur (Malaysia) and Usman Adam (Nigeria) in “Empirical validation of IR sustainability model: leveraging on a PLS-SEM approach” aimed to validate a conceptual model proposed for the implementation of sustainable institutional repositories in Nigeria. The study used Structural Equation Modeling analysis to evaluate the proposed conceptual model. Data was collected through an online survey using Smart-PLS v3.3 software. The findings provide an integrated synthesis of factors affecting the implementation of sustainable institutional repositories.

Managing digital content has led to workflow changes in libraries. Habibur Rahman (Bangladesh) with Azree Ahmad (Malaysia) and Sohaimi Zakaria (Malaysia) in “A literature review on digital content management: trends and future challenges” present the findings of a literature review on digital content management, analyzing papers published between 2001 and 2021. The study identified influential authors, top contributing countries and institutions, most cited articles, most common titles and contributions for different topics, as well as providing insights and research directions for the future.

Access to learning resources in higher education is important for improving learning. Jan Maluleka (South Africa) and Diana Atuase (Ghana) in “Marketing of library resources and its impact on the library usage of distance-learning students” investigate in Ghanaian distance learning institutions how marketing of library resources influences student’s library usage. Findings of this study evidence that the marketing of library resources and services increased awareness and motivates students.

Public libraries offer a safe space and they are part of the infrastructure for democracy. Knut Skansen, Director of Oslo Deichman, in the interview included in this issue, affirms that “The biggest challenge in our sector is now getting politicians and decision-makers to understand that the analogue library must be supplemented with a digital network and offer.” However, connections and personal meetings between patrons and library staff will also be as important as ever in the years to come.

Finally, we invite you to respond to the Call for papers “After Covid-19: digital libraries leading digital transformation” and would like to hear about current research initiatives and best practices, to deepen the conversation on how libraries are driving digital transformation and responding to this historical challenge.

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