UBC Library and Archives

Digital Libraries & K-12 Uses of Primary Sources : A UBC Library Study Fields, Erin; Musser, Peter


Development of digital libraries by academic libraries and archives has provided the opportunity to increase access and use of unique content for researchers and educators connected to the institution. As the mission of academic libraries is to support the teaching, learning and research activities of the academic community, namely faculty and students of the institution, so too is the focus when developing digital libraries (DLs). However, as libraries digitize and curate collections of cultural relevance and make them openly accessible, the potential user communities reach beyond the institutionally mandated communities (Maron & Pickle, 2013)(Ochoa et. al. 2014). This distribution of user groups and use cases for the collections make decisions about content, resource development, and system infrastructures more diverse calling for future development of digital libraries to incorporate a wider array of user perspectives to remain relevant (Menzie & Birrell 2012) (Mills 2015). With the call for national and international approaches to digitization and access to cultural materials, increasing the use of digital collections in learning environment at all levels, and current outreach practices in academic digital libraries to support the use of collections in public libraries, schools, and museums, there is a need for engagement and assessment of educators, as a core user group of digital libraries created by academic institutions (Tanner and Deegan, 2011, 10). This session for the BCLA Conference 2018 reported on a UBC Library study of BC social science teachers uses, pedagogical approaches, and barriers to incorporating primary sources from DLs with a specific focus on those developed by academic institutions. Using survey, information retrieval-based exercise (simulated work-task scenario) and interview data, this session will highlight some of the key opportunities and barriers in designing student experiences with digital primary sources and selecting and web-based educational tools for this external community and how it will impact DL system design.

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