Measuring Up: Assessing Accuracy of Reported Use and Impact of Digital Repositories

Grant Program: National Leadership Grants for Libraries
Category: Research
Award Amount: $500,000
Duration: December 2014 - December 2017

Contact:Kenning Arlitsch
Dean of the Library
(406) 994-6978;

Montana State University and its partners, OCLC Research, the Association of Research Libraries, and the University of New Mexico, will address issues related to assessment of digital collections and institutional repositories by improving the accuracy and privacy of web analytics reporting on digital library use. The project team will examine the difficulties that libraries face in producing accurate reports of the use of their digital repositories through web analytics software and recommend best practices that help improve accuracy and consistency of these reports while also protecting user privacy. This work will provide the necessary frameworks, data models, and best practices librarians and archivists need to establish baselines, measure progress, and make informed policy decisions. Additional recommendations will include an assessment framework so that libraries may begin to measure the impact of open access institutional repositories to evaluate digital library performance and enable impact studies on author citation rates and university rankings.

Please view the full grant narrative [PDF] for additional information about Measuring Up.

Building a Better Book (in the Browser)

Grant Program: Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries
Award Amount: $24,924
Duration: October 2014 - October 2015

Contact: Jason Clark
Digital Initiatives Librarian
(406) 994-6801;

The Montana State University (MSU) Library will enhance and improve its prototype software for publishing books within in a web browser, which will make online books more accessible, discoverable, shareable, and ready for analysis by users. The project will establish best practices for web publishing in specific genres, such as textbooks, fiction, and articles, and share these best practices through outreach and publications. The resulting software will be open source, creating a model intended for broader use in the library and publishing communities and contributing to a wider area of research related to open publishing models for e-books.

Tribal College Librarians Institute

Grant Program: Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program
Category: Continuing Education
Amount: $358,576
Duration: April 2014 - July 2016

Contact: Mary Anne Hansen
Research Commons Librarian
(406) 994-3162;

Montana State University will use its grant to support the Tribal College Librarians Institute, an annual weeklong professional development program for tribal college librarians and archivists. Because of their geographic isolation and relatively low budgets, tribal college librarians often cannot meet regularly with their peers or attend professional conferences.Attendance and participation in TCLI helps fill this void for approximately sixty librarians each year. Since 1991, TCLI has provided continuing education programming across all areas of librarianship that is tailored to the unique needs of tribal college librarians, helping them to develop the information and digital literacy of their communities, as well as other critical skills their users will need to be successful in the 21st century.