Sunday, July 29, 2007

Digital Libraries and Personalization Part 5 of 5

The following post is part of a series about personalization of digital libraries. Please click below to read further:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

The Future of Personalized DLs

The future of DLs is bright with a multitude of options to be researched, developed, and implemented. While conducting informal interviews with digital librarians, I found that while personalization tools may be presently limited, a variety of tools were being considered for the future. For example, Karen Henry of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), wrote that NSDL is building a number of community contribution and collaboration capabilities, such as blogs and wikis, implementing a bookmarking and tagging system to support personal views of library resources, and considering a system to construct a personal view of library tools and resources, similar to iGoogle or MyYahoo.

She also imagines the possibilities of future personalized services:

One thing that would be interesting (and probably very valuable) is a way to maintain a visual trace of a set of searches, identified resources and annotations—essentially a personal record of an exploration of the library for a particular project. This might also be combined with a way to cache the associated searches, rerun them automatically, and be alerted to new resources or changes in the set of identified materials. Finally, there are a wealth of opportunities at the intersection between personalized views/annotations of the library and social networking/community views and discussions. (personal communication, June 27, 2007).

Conclusion

This paper presents concepts related to how users can more effectively utilize information within digital libraries by means of personalization.. Personalization is a concept that increases the usability of digital libraries by adapting the digital library to the specific needs, experiences, skills, and tasks of the user. Through collaborative, content-based, and knowledge-based filtering, as well as personalized information environments (PIE), users can better employ the resources available in digital libraries.

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