Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects

Article excerpt

Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects. By Karen Calhoun. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, 2014. 320 p. Paper $95 (ISBN: 978-1-55570-985-3).

Librarians today, particularly those of us who have been in the profession for less than a decade, often take for granted the vast resources that are available online. Whether we're at the reference desk, teaching a class, or consulting with a faculty member on research, we turn initially, and often exclusively, to our computers. Although many of us are familiar with the rich digital library collections available at our fingertips, we are often less cognizant of how these collections were created and developed over time. In Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects, Karen Calhoun describes the innovations and technologies that have shaped digital libraries and offers a vision for how they might become further engaged with the communities they serve.

This authoritative analysis begins by looking as far back as 1965 to trace the fascinating history of the technologies, innovations, and visions for the future that laid the foundation for the ambitious digital library projects that began in the early 1990s. In-depth accounts of both successes and failures shed light on how digital library efforts around the globe have evolved in relation to advances in areas such as digitization and open-access initiatives as well as changes in scholarly communication. In the second half of the book, she explores the potential for a shift from a focus on collections toward a more community-oriented perspective that leverages the social web. …

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