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Usage and Usability Assessment: Library Practices and Concerns

thumbnail of pub105pub105. Usage and Usability Assessment: Library Practices and Concerns
by Denise Troll Covey

(1/02, 99 pp.) $20
ISBN 1-887334-89-0

This report offers a survey of the methods that are being deployed at leading digital libraries to assess the use and usability of their online collections and services. Focusing on 24 Digital Library Federation member libraries, the study’s author, Distinguished DLF Fellow Denise Troll Covey, conducted numerous interviews with library professionals who are engaged in assessment.

The report describes the application, strengths, and weaknesses of assessment techniques that include surveys, focus groups, user protocols, and transaction log analysis. Covey’s work is also an essential methodological guidebook. For each method that she covers, she is careful to supply a definition, explain why and how libraries use the method, what they do with the results, and what problems they encounter. The report includes an extensive bibliography on more detailed methodological information, and descriptions of assessment instruments that have proved particularly effective.

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