Friday, February 12, 2010

Ball State’s Digital Media Repository Receives New Public Interface


The Ball State Digital Media Repository (http://libx.bsu.edu), a project of the University
Libraries, now has a new look. Students, faculty, and other researchers who use this online repository, which currently consists of 89 collections and almost 200,000 digital assets, will
find many improvements, ranging from a new design to enhanced searching capabilities.

Some of the highlights to the new public interface for the DMR include these:
• Faceted and improved collection search options
• Improved navigation and browsing
• Implementation of Web 2.0 social networking tools
• An interactive media viewer on the homepage

One highly visible change is the use of cooliris media viewer to allow researchers new to the DMR to browse selected resources in an interactive environment. AddThis, a social bookmarking tool, lets users easily share DMR content on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Users will be able to search content by subject, location, format, contributor, and individual collections directly from the browse pages in the new interface.

A DMR Public Interface working group has been evaluating and designing the new look since September 2009. The working group consists of Eric B. Fisher, Information
Services Librarian; Amanda A. Hurford (co-chair), Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer; Carolyn F. Runyon (co-chair), Archivist for Digital Development and University Records; Amy E. Trendler, Architecture Librarian; and Budi Wibowo, Head of Digital Libraries and Web Services.

The working group conducted user surveys, analyzed use statistics, and surveyed other repositories to identify and select effective ways to enhance the usability of the DMR through the public interface. The new interface will provide better ways for students and faculty to select and utilize the rich digital resources available in the DMR for teaching, learning, and research.