This preprint of chapter 6 of Exploring Digital Libraries examines the social value of digital libraries. It begins by exploring past and present understandings of the value of libraries to their communities. Taking a well-known framework that lays out libraries’ social roles as a starting point, the chapter then suggests a possible new framework to describe the social roles of digital libraries. The remainder of the chapter explicates this potential framework, exploring aspects of each social role. The sections offer examples, consider benefits and challenges, and draw attention to key readings from digital library researchers and practitioners.
This preprint's final and definitive form was co-published in Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects by Facet Publishing (2014) and ALA Neal-Schuman (2014).
- digital divide,
- digital preservation