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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Bibliotheks- und Informations­wissen­schaft

Elke Greifeneder and Michael Seadle (2007)

Defining a digital library

Library High Tech , 25(2):169-173.

Zusammenfassung Purpose – This editorial seeks to examine the definition of
a “digital library” to see whether one can be constructed that usefully
distinguishes a digital library from other types of electronic resources.
Design/methodology/approach – The primary methodology compares definitions
from multiple settings, including formal institutional settings, working
definitions from articles, and a synthesis created in a seminar at Humboldt
University in Berlin. Findings – At this point, digital libraries are
evolving too fast for any lasting definition. Definitions that users readily
understand are too broad and imprecise, and definitions with more technical
precision quickly grow too obscure for common use. Originality/value – A
functional definition of a digital library would add clarity to a burgeoning
field, especially when trying to evaluate a resource. The student
perspective provides a fresh look at the problem.