Digital Library Federation Survey

Digital Library Policies, Organizations, and Practices


This survey instrument is not actively in use and will therefore not accept data.

This survey seeks to identify the institutional contexts in which digital libraries are being developed and to create a profile of the programs and initiatives at institutions that comprise the Digital Library Federation (DLF). The information gathered in this survey will help to 1) identify where DLF might focus its efforts to encourage and inform university-wide discussions regarding knowledge management in a networked digital age; 2) compile and share existing policies and practices; and 3) create a baseline for future analyses. The results could also be used to measure and compare a library's program with others for the purpose of building strength within the library and the institution and to encourage collaboration with other DLF members.

Digital Libraries as defined by the Digital Library Federation are "organizations that provide the resources, including the specialized staff, to select, structure, offer intellectual access to, interpret, distribute, preserve the integrity of, and ensure the persistence over time of collections of digital works so that they are readily and economically available for use by a defined community or set of communities."

The survey includes seven sections that cover the following issues:

  1. Information Policies (includes institutional and library policies)
  2. Digital Library Organization and Finances
  3. Digital Preservation
  4. Privacy, Security, and Authenticity
  5. Academic Computing and Faculty Liaison
  6. Scholarly Communication
  7. Support for Distance Education
A note about terminology: The survey seeks to identify patterns that may exist in the variety of experiences that DLF member institutions have in developing their digital libraries. In framing the questions, care has been taken to use terminology that is not tied to any particular organizational approach or philosophy but that may be read at the same time as being relevant to respondents' own institutional experiences. Respondents are therefore encouraged to interpret the survey questions in a manner that reflects local practices and to contact the survey's authors if they have difficulty doing so. Please also feel free to use the space available at the end of the survey to supply additional details about your institution, your library, or your digital library program that may help us to interpret your survey responses.

In the questionnaire, we ask about a number of documents your institution may have that describe the digital library. If possible, please send us copies of the documents or direct us to the URL where the documents are located.

This questionnaire was prepared by Daniel Greenstein, Director, Digital Library Federation, and Suzanne E. Thorin, University Dean of Libraries at Indiana University.*

* The authors appreciate the comments and suggestions from Wendy Lougee (University of Michigan), Scott Bennett (Yale University), and Charlene Mason (University of Minnesota), that helped to focus and fine tune this document.

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