Towards dynamic and evolving digital libraries

Li Liew Chern (School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Publication date: 28 January 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The overarching aim of this paper is to initiate a new conceptualisation of digital cultural heritage libraries' design and development that emphasises a holistic understanding of a digital cultural heritage as part of information ecology and of the activities taking place between and amongst the various elements of the ecology that are governed by social, cultural, political, economical, and technical affordances and constraints.

Design/methodology/approach

A research framework is developed based on viewpoints, reviews of existing literature and concepts of information ecology and activity theory.

Findings

The conceptual framework comprises of a set of dimensions: content; context; connectivity; consideration; collaboration; construction; confidence and continuity. These dimensions are indicative of the kinds of issues and questions that could be considered in transitioning a digital cultural heritage library into a system that is dynamic, and one which evolves within the stakeholders' socio-cultural contexts. The issues and questions highlighted and outlined under the dimensions may be used to help one to situate their digital cultural heritage in the space and environment it operates in, to discover which direction to take to transition the digital cultural heritage library and to safely navigate the journey for the transitioning. The dimensions may also signal the elements needing ongoing consideration as the digital cultural heritage library evolves on its journey within the ecologies concerned.

Practical implications

These dimensions are indicative of the kinds of issues and questions that could be considered in transitioning a digital cultural heritage library into a system that is dynamic and one which evolves within the stakeholders' socio-cultural contexts. The issues and questions highlighted and outlined under the dimensions may be used to help one to situate their digital cultural heritage in the space and environment it operates in, to discover which direction to take to transition the digital cultural heritage library and to safely navigate the journey for the transitioning. The dimensions may also signal the elements needing ongoing consideration as the digital cultural heritage library evolves on its journey within the ecologies concerned.

Originality/value

This research presents concepts from information ecology and activity theory that could be incorporated in digital library research, design and development.

Keywords

Citation

Li Liew, C. (2014), "Towards dynamic and evolving digital libraries", The Electronic Library, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 2-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-07-2012-0089

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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