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Library capacity for data curation services: a US national survey

Ayoung Yoon (Department of Library and Information Science, Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Devan Ray Donaldson (Department of Information and Library Science, Indiana University at Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 27 June 2019

Issue publication date: 25 October 2019




The purpose of this paper is to understand the landscape of data curation services among public and academic libraries in the USA, with a focus on library capacity for providing data curation services.


The authors conducted an online survey by employing stratified sampling from the American Library Directory. A total of 198 responses were analyzed.


The authors’ findings provide insight into the current landscape of libraries’ data curation services. The survey participants evaluated six capacity dimensions for both public and academic libraries – value, financial, administrative, technical infrastructure, human resources and network. The ratings the participants gave to these capacity dimensions were significantly different between academic and public libraries.

Practical implications

This study suggests several areas in which libraries will benefit from further developing their capacity to successfully run data curation services.


This is among the first research study to address the concept of capacity in the context of libraries’ data curation services.



This project was funded by Institute of Museum and Library Services (No. #LG-72-17-0139-17). The authors would also like to thank Annise Blanchard, Samuel Russell, Mandeep Dhillon and Shen Zhang for their assistance with the project.


Yoon, A. and Donaldson, D.R. (2019), "Library capacity for data curation services: a US national survey", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 811-828.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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