Journal Article: “Getting to Know Digital Collections Users”
The article linked below was recently published by the Journal of Western Archives.
Getting to Know Digital Collections Users
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Journal of Western Archives
Vol. 14 (2023), Iss. 1
Use and user studies can provide valuable information to archivists and librarians who wish to improve their services and systems. However, studying the use and users of digital archival collections can be challenging. This study describes the methods and findings of a study conducted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) to explore questions such as, who is using UNLV Digital Collections? How are they using the materials? What are their user interface preferences? Are they satisfied? The methods used include web analytics, an online survey, and interviews. The author shares lessons learned to aid other repositories in designing and implementing digital collections assessments. The findings reveal some consistencies with past studies in user preferences over time and across different user and collection types. Study participants desired intuitive but customizable interfaces and searching and browsing functionality. They wanted the ability to easily and quickly understand the scope of the collections, and to efficiently review search results. Support for downloading high resolution files, citing materials, and creating personal collections was also apparent. Overall, study participants indicated that they are satisfied with UNLV Digital Collections, but this type of research can contribute to improvements that could attract new users and expand the reach of digital collections.
Direct to Full Text Article
56 pages; PDF.
Filed under: Archives and Special Collections, Digital Collections, Interactive Tools, Interviews, News, Open Access, Patrons and Users
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.