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Assessing impact of digital library services. An exploratory study at the University of Camerino

By Clementina Fraticelli


Focus of this dissertation is the assessment of digital library services impact on academic library users. This is an academic work, whose eventual outcome will be used for the improvement of services and evidence-based practice. \ud Research started by reviewing international and Italian literature. It emerged that studies on impact and outcomes measurement of digital library services, as part of a user-centred and solely qualitative evaluation process, are sparse, because of the difficulty of translating qualitative criteria of impact into quantifiable measures and indicators, and partly because the process is very much time-consuming. \ud The aim of this research is to build an evaluation model, focused on impact assessment of digital library services offered to users by the Library System of the University of Camerino, workplace of the researcher, to produce recommendations for the organisation and hints for further research. The prototype-like model will be put to the attention of the local library management as assessment tool to become an eventual future reinforcement to the measurement activity already in place. \ud The study is roughly designed to go through these phases: \ud 1. Italian experts in digital library issues are called to give their opinions on the matter with the intent to devise evidence of impact on users; \ud 2. results are fed to a group of local library practitioners, whose task is to confront data against the context they work in and serve; \ud 3. collected data are, then, discussed in depth with local key-informants to possibly find further insight and finally validity of the model. \ud The research takes the form of an exploratory study. It exploits qualitative methods and techniques originated from the social sciences. \ud The evaluation model resulting from the analysis of data is exposed according to academic users activities and groups. It comprises both qualitative and quantitative measures and indicators and the suggested methods of data collection are in accordance. \ud Recommendations are made to the University Library System about how to start a DLS impact assessment activity

Topics: M-STO/08 Archivistica, bibliografia e biblioteconomia
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:ecum.eprints.org:166
Provided by: CamEPrints

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