Supplementing the Stacks Expanding Access and Engagement through Sustainable Digital Exhibitions

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Freja Cole


Several recent studies have discussed approaches to planning and implementing digital exhibitions in libraries. However, prominent library organizations such as the American Library Association and IFLA have no published best practices or standards for digital exhibitions. The literature shows that digital exhibitions and digital supplements to in-person exhibits have benefits including increased accessibility and user engagement. Using interviews with professionals at information institutions, this paper reveals and clarifies the common practices used to create digital exhibitions and the challenges of the design process. Additional interviews with professors of religious studies who utilize digital exhibits and resources in their roles as educators provide insight into the use of digital exhibits as tools for expanding public understanding of important historical and cultural topics. The consensus of creators and users of digital exhibitions is that they are valuable educational resources that reach new users, provide additional context for materials, and increase user engagement.

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