Global Directions in Digital Libraries

Article excerpt

Digital Libraries and Information Access: Research Perspectives

Edited by Gobinda Chowdhury and Schubert Foo

Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 2013 ISBN: 978-1555709143 256 pages; $99.95 softcover

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Digital libraries were first developed in the 1990s. In the decades since, researchers around the world have studied various aspects of these special libraries.

More than 8,000 journal articles and conference papers on digital libraries have been published to date, according to the editors of Digital Libraries and Information Access: Research Perspectives, in addition to numerous books, theses, and other publications. Researchers in many fields have contributed to this new book collection, from those in information science and law to those in engineering and psychology. The development of digital libraries has been truly multidisciplinary as well as multinational.

This new title provides insight into recent research and gives suggestions for future investigations. It is global in scope, with contributions from researchers in Malta, Singapore, Estonia, and South Africa, as well as Canada and the U.S.

The editors of Digital Libraries and Information Access are well-respected academic researchers. Gobinda Chowdhury, a professor and director of the Centre for Information and Knowledge Management at the University of Technology in Sydney, has also been a member of the faculty at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, U.K.) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). He has written books and papers on information retrieval and digital libraries and has been involved in international digital libraries groups, including the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries.

Schubert Foo, a professor and associate dean of graduate studies at Nanyang Technological University, has published widely on digital libraries, knowledge management, and multimedia technology. He has also served on the National Library Board of Singapore. These two scholars have collaborated on several chapters in the book as well as gathering a balanced group of articles covering many aspects of current digital libraries research.

A Multinational Reach

The book includes 15 chapters, each focusing on a distinct aspect of digital libraries, from design to user interaction to intellectual property. The multinational scope is interesting for readers who usually focus on developments in their home countries.

The editors' introduction provides an overview of digital libraries, including several definitions and a brief summary of the chapters. They emphasize that this book can serve as a current overview of digital libraries for students, professionals, or researchers. Some of the chapters include data from specific research studies, while others are summaries of previous research and theories.

Chapter 3, "Metadata and Crowd-sourced Data for Access and Interaction in Digital Library User Interfaces," by Ali Shiri and Dinesh Rathi (University of Alberta, Canada), presents a study on metadata-enhanced searching in four English-language digital libraries in four countries. …