Sustaining Digital Libraries: An Introduction

Abstract: Halbert and Skinner briefly review the sustainability problem that exists for digital libraries and initiatives, outline the themes and contributions of the other essays in this monograph, and then offer a few conclusions on the topic.


First, I am relieved to read that Halbert and Skinner are focusing on infrastructure and sustainability or, as I like to call it: maintainability by future colleagues. Too often, digital initiatives become concerned merely with the latest, coolest toys and then die because they don't consider long-term maintenance.

Their advice about collaboration is also focused on sustainability and the use of scarce resources.

Finally, the idea that we should be building/offering services based on USER needs is a marvelous. After all, what's the point of spending time, money, and human resources on non-desired services and infrastructure?!

Halbert, Martin and Katherine Skinner (2008). "Sustaining Digital Libraries: An Introduction," in Strategies for Sustaining Digital Libraries. Atlanta, GA: Emory University Digital Library Publications. Retrieved November 17, 2008, from