ENGAGING USERS IN THE PRESERVATION PROCESS
There is a need for further study of how users interact with geological collections. Information scientists utilize user studies to better understand the information seeking behavior, or the behavior associated with seeking information of a specific population related to a collection of material. Yakel (2002) found that archivists overestimate the expertise of their users and that a common ground needs to be developed in order to facilitate finding and retrieving archival materials and as a result she recommends user studies. Similarly, curators of geological collections could benefit from understanding the expertise and needs of their users. Conducting user studies of a geological collection could also engage the user community of geological collections in the preservation and access process and could improve use, as well as raise awareness of collections, meeting one of the necessary NRC challenges to provide geological information to future generations of researchers.
Hedstrom, M. (1997). Digital preservation: a time bomb for digital libraries. Computers and the Humanities, 31(3), 189–202.
Yakel, E. (2002). Listening to users. Archival Issues, 26(2), 111–127.