Information Seeking Behavior in Digital Environments and Libraries in Enhancing the Use of Digital Information

Information Seeking Behavior in Digital Environments and Libraries in Enhancing the Use of Digital Information

Kaushal Chauhan (Berhampur University, India) and Rabindra Kumar Mahapatra (SMIT, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2500-6.ch023


The authors discuss in this chapter the emergence of digital library environments of the modern world. The emerging field of digital libraries brings together participants from many existing areas of research. Currently, the field lacks a clear agenda independent of these other area. It is tempting for researchers to think that the field of digital libraries is a natural outgrowth of an already known field. From a database or information retrieval perspective, digital libraries may be seen as a form of federated databases. From a hypertext perspective, the field of digital libraries could seem like a particular application of hypertext technology. From a wide-area information service perspective, digital libraries could appear to be one use of the World Wide Web. From a library science perspective, digital libraries might be seen as continuing a trend toward library automation. New concepts and applications appear fast in the information world. Current exploitation of multimedia technology is changing our understanding of the interconnections of graphics, sound, and images, and the types of information they present. Thus, we need to understand both human psyche and available technologies in order to create and to interpret new expressions. The chapter highlights the benefits of digital information and how the libraries are helpful in enhancing the use of digital information. The chapter shows that libraries can provide Internet access, electronic contents, and training to the users. It explains the changing and changed attitude of information professionals in the present scenario.
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What Is Digital Library?

Digital Library, a global virtual library, is a library of thousands of networked electronics libraries. There will be a vast population of users scattered around the globe, who are able to access, easily and conveniently, the complete contents of thousands of repositories containing texts, images, sound recordings, videos, maps, scientific and business data, as well as hypermedia combinations of these elements. The library must a network based distributed system with local servers responsible for maintaining individual collections of digital documents. A digital library is a collection of digital objects. A collection of research papers is a typical example. When this collection gets sufficiently large, users of the digital library cannot examine each paper individually to find if its subject interests them. To address this problem, digital librarians create an interface to stand between the content of the collection and the user. In a traditional library, an example of this would be a card catalog—a collection of small cards that represent the larger objects contained in the collection. These cards are more manageable than the books that they represent. In a digital library, there are a number of ways that we can present the digital collection to the user. The first thing that we need to do is to describe each object in a manageable way. This description is called metadata—data (the description) about data (the digital object). This metadata is more manageable than the digital objects that it represents. Metadata is written in a standard format. This allows the metadata to be manipulated using automated tools.

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