Bridging the gap: A conceptual model of the access of digital libraries

Bing Pan, Helene Hembrooke, Geri Gay, Gerald C. Gonsalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


This paper proposes a general conceptual model for the access of digital libraries based on relevant research in information retrieval, information seeking and foraging, and activity based design theory. The authors reveal that a gap exists in current digital library design practices in which a digital library is disconnected from its targeted user community. Search engines have disintermediated many digital library interfaces and their related evaluation and usability efforts. Many digital libraries are losing their users since users have learned how to use search engines to access open Web content of collective knowledge of a wider mass instead of a specific digital library. Accordingly the authors promote a marketing orientation of digital library design and argue that we should sell the digital library in users' familiar information environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Digital Information
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 27 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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