Report Highlight: Objectives & Scope

Objectives of the eGranary Evaluation Project

The objectives of the eGranary evaluation process were threefold:

  1. To conduct an evaluation of the eGranary Digital Library investigating its use, usability, and usefulness;
  2. To improve the digital library system and help identify priorities for developing new features; and
  3. To develop on-going reliable evaluation mechanisms both within the eGranary and online that could be used for the foreseeable future.

Formerly, WiderNet relied on informal feedback from subscribers to evaluate what was going well and what needed improvement.

With this evaluation process WiderNet now has the capability to gather hard data from a wide variety of stakeholders, synthesize this data, and with some authority move forward in improving and developing new features.

Scope of the eGranary Evaluation Project

The scope of the investigation covered the three major aspects of the eGranary Digital Library:

The ‘Use’ aspect included:

  • How many eGranary Digital Libraries are out in the field;
  • What kinds of information is accessed on these libraries;
  • How many resources are used on a daily/monthly basis;
  • What was required to install and maintain a Library; and
  • What are the major constraints to using the Library fully.

The ‘Usability’ aspect included:

  • How easily patrons find information;
  • How confident patrons are in using the Library;
  • How much is the search engine used;
  • Does the catalogue aid in locating resources; and
  • How satisfied patrons are with the selection of resources on the Library.

Finally, the ‘Usefulness’ aspect included:

  • How the eGranary Digital Library impacts the core institutional missions of teaching, research, and service;
  • How often eGranary materials are used in classroom lectures or student papers or patient care;
  • How the patrons rate the benefits of the eGranary versus the Internet; and
  • The fiscal impact of the eGranary Digital Library versus the Internet.

For more detail, see Appendix 13, Use, Usability and Usefulness [pdf].

Special thanks to The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation1