Hiya. I've performed a handful of jargon card sorts in several libraries. "Digital Collections" has never been one that's on the table, but IMHO, good labels should be future friendly - and complicating "our collection" with "electronic," "digital," or "online" is an uphill battle. Rather, present "Collections" as a whole if you have to - in which some of the items happen to be digital.
It's like this "audiobook" versus "e-audiobook" nightmare. We have found that in these cases, an audiobook is an audiobook - sometimes it's on CD, other times it's accessible through Overdrive.
"Electronic resources" are pretty meaningless to folks who are accustomed to resources that are predominately electronic anyway. "Resources" should suffice.
My two cents!
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Laura Krier
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 12:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] talking about "digital collections" vs "electronic resources"
I agree that "articles" is incomplete, but I also think sometimes we shoot ourselves in the feet trying to be totally comprehensive in how we describe things, and end up confusing people. What students think they want are "articles" so we should use that term as a pointer to our databases. Good instruction can help them understand all the different kinds of resources available to them.
As far as digital collections go (and whatever print special collections we
have) the key is helping students understand what primary source materials are and why they might use them. The format isn't as relevant, in my opinion. I personally prefer to call all our primary source collections Special Collections or primary source collections without immediately differentiating between digital and print.
I think too often we present our collections to students through the framework of our own workflows and functional handling of materials and less in terms of what they might be used for by students. It would be interesting to wipe out our current categorizations and really re-think how we present resources in terms of their functions for research and teaching.
Just my $0.02. :-)
On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 9:42 AM McCanna, Terran < [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Agreed - most patrons are usually confused by all of those terms
> (including "databases") and aren't going to care about the differences
> between them, they just want the content. "Articles" is
> understandable, but incomplete - "Articles and Other Online Resources"
> is inclusive and easier to understand, but too long. I usually go with
> something like "Online Resources" to try to balance the understandability with the intent.
> Terran McCanna
> PINES Program Manager
> Georgia Public Library Service
> 1800 Century Place, Suite 150
> Atlanta, GA 30345
> [log in to unmask]
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Erik Sandall" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 12:34:03 PM
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] talking about "digital collections" vs
> "electronic resources"
> Most patrons won't understand the meanings of "digital collections"
> and "electronic resources". We should use terminology that they would use.
> My brain is a fog this morning so I don't have any brilliant
> suggestions at the moment. There is likely to be UX-type research
> about this in the current literature. "Databases" is probably better, for example.
> "Articles" is probably even better than "databases".
> For what it's worth...
> Erik Sandall, MLIS
> Electronic Services Librarian & Webmaster Mechanics' Institute
> 57 Post Street
> San Francisco, CA 94104
> [log in to unmask]
> On 3/18/2015 9:25 AM, Matt Sherman wrote:
> > I haven't done any testing on that, but your understanding it the
> > conventional on in the field.
> > On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 12:22 PM, Derek Merleaux <
> [log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >> I've always been inclined to use "digital collections" to talk about a
> >> collection of things that have been digitized or perhaps including born
> >> digital things that are part of a "collection" in an archival sort of
> >> I prefer the term "electronic resources" for the databases and other
> >> things...
> >> -Derek
> >> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 12:04 PM, Jenn C <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>> Hi-
> >>> We're having a discussion about some web site labeling and navigation.
> >>> have a list of "digital collections" which are collections that contain
> >>> items we've digitized. There was concern expressed that we have
> >>> labeled "digital collections" patrons might think that includes
> >>> and other items.
> >>> Has anyone done user testing around this or have any experience/ideas
> >> about
> >>> how to handle the difference between these?
> >>> Thanks!
> >>> jenn