ERIC Number: ED472587
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
A Comparison of Web-Based Library Catalogs and Museum Exhibits and Their Impacts on Actual Visits: A Focus Group Evaluation for the Colorado Digitization Project.
Fry, Thomas K.; Lance, Keith Curry; Cox, Marti A.; Moe, Tammi
The Colorado Digitization Project (CDP) commissioned the Library Research Service (LRS) of the Colorado State Library and the University of Denver Library and Information Science Program to evaluate user perceptions of the relative merits of the catalog (or database) and the exhibit approaches to providing access to digital information, especially digital images of artifacts, photographs, and other documents. The catalog approach is generally associated with libraries, while the exhibit approach is more common in museums. This evaluation combined PowerPoint and Web presentations with focus group interviews of three CDP clienteles: hobbyists, K-12 students, and general users. Each focus group interview was set up in a presentation/reaction format, beginning with a presentation of appropriate sample library and museum web sites, followed by the questions that comprised the focus group interview. Each group was presented with a scenario based on a specific assigned reason for utilizing digital resources. Relevance to needs, reasons for use, and impacts of virtual museum visits and of virtual library visits on actual visits are identified for each group. The conclusions of this evaluation were found to be consistent with three primary motivations of the Colorado Digitization Project: improving access to educational resources via digital format; aiding in the preservation of rare artifacts, photographs, and other documents; and encouraging users of museums in particular to visit in-person more often by attracting them with creative virtual exhibits. Focus group contacts are listed at the end of the report. (AEF)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Exhibits, Focus Groups, Libraries, Library Catalogs, Museums, Online Catalogs, Use Studies, Users (Information), World Wide Web
For full text: http://www.cdpheritage.org/resource/reports/cdp_report_lrs.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Colorado State Dept. of Education, Denver. State Library and Adult Education Office.; Denver Univ., CO.
Identifiers - Location: Colorado