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Department or Administrative Unit


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Information professionals and librarians have been studying, discussing, and developing digital libraries for over two decades, but understanding ultimate use of images from digital libraries remains a mystery for many of them. Most articles written on digital library use focus on users’ search retrieval needs and behavior. Few mention how digital library patrons use the images they request. Like many digital libraries, archives, and special collections, the University of Houston Digital Library makes high resolution images available to their patrons. Image delivery is achieved by an automated system, titled the Digital Cart Service. An unexpected benefit of the Digital Cart Service is the reporting mechanism that produces data that includes intended use information. This article discusses the analysis of this data to determine why images were used, what products were created from the images, and what implications this has on digital library management. The authors believe that answering these questions creates an environment in which digital library innovators can better promote and design digital libraries, and describe and select the content in them.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an Article published in Journal of Web Librarianship on May 5, 2014, available online here.


Journal of Web Librarianship


© Michele Reilly and Santi Thompson