This website serves as a communication tool for the IMLS grant project, “Developing a Framework for Measuring Reuse of Digital Objects.”  The project aims to conduct a formal needs assessment of the Digital Library community to determine desired functionality for a future reuse assessment toolkit. This toolkit will compile available resources, best practices, and use cases for studying the reuse of digital assets held by cultural heritage and research organizations.


The Digital Library Federation (DLF) Assessment Interest Group (AIG) Reuse subgroup developed this grant in response to the recommendations set forth in the DLF Assessment Group’s white paper, “Surveying the Landscape: Use and Usability Assessment of Digital Libraries.” This paper outlined the challenges institutions face in assessing digital repository content reuse, a key indicator of the impact and value of digital collection materials.

Traditional library analytics focus almost entirely on simple access statistics. These type of statistics do not provide a nuanced picture of how users utilize or transform unique materials from library-hosted digital collections. This lack of distinction, combined with a lack of standardized assessment approaches, makes it difficult for institutions to develop user-responsive collections.  Without standardized assessment it is difficult to highlight the value of these materials. This in turn presents significant challenges for developing the appropriate staffing, system infrastructure, and long-term funding models needed to support digital collections.


Ultimately this project aims to do the following:

  • Identify sustainable and vetted assessment techniques that can be applied to a broad array of digital library collections.
  • Support cultural heritage organizations in deepening their understanding of the ways users engage with, reuse, and transform digital content.
  • With the digital library community, develop approaches and best practices for communicating the economic, educational, scholarly, scientific, social, and cultural impact of digital collections.
grant funding

Institute of Museum and Library Services logo

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.