Digital libraries: policies, planning and practice

Law, D. (2004) Digital libraries: policies, planning and practice. Ashgate, Aldershot, UK. ISBN 0754634485

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Discusses various aspects of the management of digital libraries at the governmental and organizational levels. It also describes various initiatives and cases of the development of digital collections. The first two chapters provide the historical perspective and background of financial policies in the USA and the UK for the support of digital library initiatives. The coupling of these two chapters reveals two different approaches in these countries and different styles of narrative. The first part of the book then deals with the financial issues, building the collections and preservation problems, creation of services, and evaluation of these. Each and every problem and aspect is discussed very professionally and may be immediately taken into notice and applied by others developing digital libraries. The second part is a collection of the most interesting analysis of the cases of digital libraries: The Glasgow Digital Library, the Digital Library in the University of Central England (Birmingham), Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (a truly international and successful attempt to provide access to research), a most interesting Digital Music Library Project at Indiana University, as well as the experience of the Library of Congress. These case studies provide an integrated picture of the problems, potentials, and outcomes that were introduced in the first part. At the end, Mell Collier sums up the results of the decade and speculates on the future possibilities and directions of the development of digital libraries.