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From Prototype to Deployable System: Framing the Adoption of Digital Library Services

Leonard W. D’Avolio, Christine L. Borgman, Leslie Champeny, Gregory H. Leazer, Anne J. Gilliland, Kelli A. Millwood

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


The Alexandria Digital Earth Prototype Project (ADEPT) is a 5-year (1999-2004) effort, with a goal of developing effective models for implementing digital libraries in undergraduate instruction. The ADEPT team has created a digital learning environment (DLE) that adds educational value to a digital library by offering a suite of services for teaching. Encouraged by the results of implementations in undergraduate geography classrooms, the team now shifts its focus from experimental prototype to deployable system. Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theories are used as frameworks for analyzing this complex transition. Recommendations for lowering the barriers to adoption related to complexity, trialability, and observability include the prioritization of development efforts focused on stabilizing the system, the creation of documentation and an online demonstration, and anonymous logins to the system. To increase perceived relative advantage, existing technical and copyright issues in integrating the Alexandria Digital Library must be overcome. To increase compatibility, the speed at which pedagogical change is achieved must be rethought. Finally, recruitment efforts should focus on innovators and early adopters before moving on to early majority, late majority, or laggard adopters.

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