Assessing the Roles That a Small Specialist Library Plays to Guide the Development of a Hybrid Digital Library

  • Richard Butterworth
  • Veronica Davis Perkins
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3507)


A case study of the development of a hybrid digital library system for a small, specialist library is discussed. It is proposed that small, specialist libraries play different roles for their stakeholders than academic or commercial libraries do, and therefore different models of digital library systems are required. It is primarily shown that the community building and supporting roles are much stronger and more important and that financial resources are even more scarce than for academic and commercial libraries. Although the findings are based on an in-depth analysis of one library, a semi-formal interview study with librarians from similar institutions was undertaken. This demonstrates that the arguments presented here have a good level of generality.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Adams, A., Blandford, A.: Acceptability of Medical Digital Libraries. Health Informatics Journal 8(2), 58–66 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Adams, A., Blandford, A., Lunt, P.: Social empowerment and exclusion: a case study on digital libraries. To appear in ACM transactions on CHI (in press)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Allen, B.: From research to design: a user-centered approach. In: Ingersen, Pers (eds.) CoLIS 2: Second international conference on library and information science, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 45–59 (1996) See,
  4. 4.
    Borgman, C.L.: What are digital libraries? Competing visions. Information Processing and Management 35, 227–243 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brier, S.: Cybersemiotics: a new paradigm in analyzing th eproblems of knowledge organization and document retrieval in information science. In: Ingersen, Pers (eds.) CoLIS 2: Second international conference on library and information science, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 23–42 (1996)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Checkland, P.: Systems thinking, Systems practice. John Wiley, Chichester (1981)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chowdhury, G.G., Chowdhury, S.: Introduction to digital libraries. Facet publishing (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cornielius, I.: Information and interpretation. In: Ingersen, Pers (eds.) CoLIS 2: Second international conference on library and information science, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. 11–21 (1996)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Davis Perkins, V., Butterworth, R., Curzon, P.: Don’t forget the STAGES: Searching for values in digital surrogates of historical photographs. In: To be presented at IS&T Archiving Conference, Washington DC, USA (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Davis Perkins, V., Butterworth, R., Curzon, P., Fields, B.: A study into the effect of digitisation projects on the management and stability of historic photograph collections. In: Submitted to European Conference on Digital Libraries (2005)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fox, E., Urs, S.: Digital libraries. In: Cronin, B. (ed.) Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, vol. 36, ch. 12, pp. 503–589 (2002)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lipow, A.: ’In Your Face’ Reference Service. Library Journal, 50–52 (August 1999)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nardi, B.A., O’Day, V.: Information Ecologies. MIT Press, Cambridge (2000)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Russell, I.: Stability and change in a Sheffield singing tradition. Folk Music Journal 5, 317–358 (1987)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sánchez, J., Proal, C., Carballo, A., Pérez, D.: Personal and group spaces: Integrating resources for users of digital libraries. In: Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Human factors in Computer Systems (2001)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sonnenwald, D.H., Marchionini, G., Wildemuth, B.M., Dempsey, B.J., Viles, C.L., Tibbo, H.R., Smith, J.B.: Collaboration services in a participatory digital library: an emerging design. In: Aparac, T., Saracevic, T., Ingersen, P., Vakkari, P. (eds.) CoLIS3: Third international conference on conceptions of library and information science, Zagreb, Croatia, pp. 141–152 (1999)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Spasser, M.: Realistic activity theory for digital library evaluation: conceptual framework and case study. Computer Supported Co-operative Work 11, 81–110 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Still, J. (ed.): Creating Web Accessible Databases: Case Studies for Libraries, Museums and Other Non-Profits. Information Today, Inc. (2001)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Theng, Y.L.: Framework for an application development model to build user-centred digital libraries. In: CoLIS 1999, Croatia (1999)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    UCLA-NSF Social Aspects of Digital Libraries Workshop. Social aspects of digital libraries (1996),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Butterworth
    • 1
  • Veronica Davis Perkins
    • 2
  1. 1.Senate House LibraryUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Interaction Design CentreMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

Personalised recommendations