DLs and ODLs

For the definition of “digital library” (DL), I like the conclusion that Candy has made in “Digital libraries: an overview”. It compares the “strict” and “looser” definitions of DL and analyzes it from both digital libraries and users’ sides. From my point of view, the digital libraries not only store digital materials, but also working on their life cycle and usage statistics. They follow the development of technologies in the context of the information age and provide services more than a search engine.

I think it is very helpful to address the definition of Open Digital Libraries (ODL) in addition to Digital libraries. In “A Framework for Building Open Digital Libraries”, the ODL is seen as the extended Open Archives. From librarians’ side, what they want to do is to add values of their digital collections and put them into use. I think that ODL can help to do that. Moreover, many articles have mentioned to provide multiple types of the digital materials. I think that is also an advantage of digital libraries.

Furthermore, I agree with the opinion mentioned in the article – “What Is a Digital Library Anymore, Anyway?” It says that digital libraries can do much more than just “find information and access it”. Google can just help users to search for a very small amount of information. Digital libraries can provide more. Most importantly, digital library could be a place for users to change their ideas. I also like the ideas described in this article that modern digital libraries allow users to customize stuff. I think that will also encourage users to get access to the digital collections more often and use them more creatively.

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