2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM



, kastens@ldeo.columbia.edu

It is always a challenge to anticipate information needs of users when building a library collection, and a special challenge when the library's goal is to proactively meet the needs of an extremely diverse audience. Our four-institution collaborative is working on enriching the DLESE Collection for all kinds of users through collections assessment, targeted gathering and cataloging of resources to fill gaps in the collection, and development of a system for gathering and disseminating feedback from users of DLESE resources.

“Collections assessment” is the process of systematically comparing the scope and balance of the library’s actual collection with the scope and balance of materials desired by the library users. In the case of DLESE, information about users’ desires comes from analysis of requests to the Search and Browse functions of the DLESE Discovery System. DLESE assesses its collection along the dimensions of Topic, Grade Level, and Learning Resource type. We recently discovered that all of the “audio” Learning Resource Types (audio webcast, sound, radio broadcast, music, lecture, and audio book) are under-represented in the DLESE collections relative to the frequency of requests for these resource types from Discovery System users. These audio resource types are crucial for visually-impaired learners. We are now targeting audio resource types for intensive gathering and cataloging to fill this gap in the collection.

The DLESE Community Review System (CRS; crs.dlese.org) gathers, aggregates and disseminates user feedback about DLESE resources. One section of the questionnaire asks whether the respondent used the resource with students who have specific characteristics that might be factors in how they learn (e.g. color-blindness, limited English, limited experience with technology), and, if so, would they recommend or advise against using this resource with such students. When sufficient answers have accumulated, a table compiling number of recommendations for and against using the resource is made available as a DLESE annotation, which can be accessed via the “see reviews, teaching tips and related resources” link from the DLESE Discovery System. In addition, a page on the CRS website highlights resources that have been recommended for specific populations by more than five users.