Document Type

Working Paper




digital libraries, electronic resources, DLF, Digital Library Federation, workflow, responsibilities, CLIR




Library and Information Science


The idea for the study took shape in a New York City steakhouse where four DLF directors met to reflect on the new roles and responsibilities that were emerging for their libraries as they entered an increasingly networked digital age.1 Realizing that lessons from the past were easier and perhaps more predictive than prognostications about the future, they suggested that a study of DLF member programs would reveal the history, aims, organization, and immediate challenges in their libraries The study progressed quickly, following the development of a lengthy (104-question) survey that was received and completed without complaint at DLF member institutions. We learned subsequently that numerous hands had to be called into play to supply the answers to the questions we posed. Once compiled, the data provided a rich source of information that indicated the very different developmental trajectories and experiences in DLF institutions. Review by a slightly broader group of library directors suggested that the study be extended to include the case studies that are presented here.2 These, they argued, would breathe the life of human experience into otherwise dry, if informative, statistical data. The research was destined from this point to impose even more heavily on already overcrowded schedules that were opened graciously and with the utmost concern for congenial hospitality to accommodate the authors’ site visits.

Additional Information

ISBN 1-887334-95-5 Published by Digital Library Federation, Council on Library and Information Resources, Washington, D.C.


local input