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Digital libraries, Usability, Distributed models, Information seeking behavior, Digital Public Library of America


This article presents the findings of a case study that examined user navigation in a large-scale digital library in the context of academic use. Using the Digital Public Library of America as case, the study explored user navigation and understanding of a distributed model of large-scale digital libraries. The DPLA model involves two- or three-step navigation pathways. Most study participants could navigate the DPLA distributed, multi-layered system effectively. This study found some confusion among the participants when they had to move through a three-step process to locate digital objects provided by a metadata aggregator service hub. The study participants also pointed out the advantages of a distributed model in collocating digital resources and connecting users to a wide range of digital libraries.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Copyright held by the author or publisher. User is responsible for all copyright compliance


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Web Librarianship on October 18 2017, available online: "".