56 · Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
Migrating content to new formats; updating or replacing software; experimenting with improved web interactivity.
We have identiﬁed some additional areas that could beneﬁt from more attention, but we are shorthanded and
underfunded, making some desired changes nearly impossible.
Small changes, informally over time. This has been much more of an evolution rather than a formal study and response.
27. Overall, how would you assess the effectiveness of your library’s digital humanities services? N=36
Because our program is ad hoc, and serves the entire faculty of the university, support for humanities has not been an
intentional focus, and the spectrum of services is quite broad, including special project support but also substantial
ongoing digitization services for courses, research, and as an extension of services in other special libraries. Use and
demand is strong, but it is difﬁcult to assess a speciﬁc impact on digital humanists/the humanities.
Given that we don’t have a systematic support structure for digital humanities services, we’re doing pretty well. There’s
a website for one of our projects (http://digilib.bu.edu/mission/), and we’ve consulted on some others. We are in the
midst of signiﬁcant growth right now in all aspects of library services; a lot more should happen in the next couple of
Improving. We are ramping up for a launch of our new research commons and will develop a new suite of services in the
process. New hires related to this space and services will have assessment as one piece of their responsibilities.
It could be a lot better.
It has been mixed. While the work has been outstanding we have had trouble with scope creep and not working very
efﬁciently because everything was ad hoc.
It is too new to easily assess. An early indicator of success is the turnout for the ﬁrst “digital jump start” workshop. We
had over 30 participants which is a good number for a faculty workshop.
It needs to be expanded and strengthened. It needs to combine forces with other library units and other campus-wide
units to maximize resources and centralize expertise. We are in the process of trying to do this.
Needs work. Needs clearer direction and more and better communication amongst the units providing support. The
collaboration with IDAH particularly needs work. It is problematic to have a division of labor where one group that does
not report through the library makes project decisions that have such a strong impact on a unit in the library.
Our ad hoc, idiosyncratic services suffer from lack of a unifying theme. Poor advertising keeps, for the most part, our
expertise in a closet. However, when we are engaged outcomes have been uniformly positive.
Our primary strengths are in the STEM disciplines, but we have met expressed needs in the humanities disciplines.
Our service is growing. As we begin to get more grant funding for digital humanities projects, we are little by little
establishing a digital humanities program in the library. I would assess our program as being in its starting phase, but on
the right track for growth.
Over the last year, we have acquired additional software that should provide more accurate statistics on the use of our
collections for effective assessment going forward.