Department of Your Department

Mission Statement

Integrating the best of information retrieval — multimedia, hypermedia, visualization — with the best and most humanistic aspects of living libraries.

Digital Library Research Laboratory Philosophy


We commit ourselves to the betterment of the lives of creators and users of information---learners and teachers at Virginia Tech, and beyond.


Our work on digital libraries is diverse, including theory, experimentation, and human issues. We are exploring how our Hadoop cluster can support teaching as well as a wide variety of research projects. We leverage natural language processing, machine learning, social networks, HCI, software engineering, statistics, and other disciplines, including application domains like digital humanities.


First, we aim to ensure that students involved in DLRL work on topics for which they have a strong passion. Second, we aim to advance methods and practice, so that access to information is more effective as well as efficient. Third, we aim to integrate advances in theory (e.g., the 5S framework), systems, services, and collections.


Our objective is to persue goals related to our commitment to teaching and learning, and to maintain a symbiosis with the goals of the laboratory and our personal educational goals---the timely completion of our Master's and PhD degrees.

Potentially Relevant Statement by Robert France

Computer scientists have an unfortunate tendency to see digital libraries primarily as repositories of information. People go to libraries seeking information, certainly, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. People also go to libraries seeking knowledge and wisdom and art and entertainment and enlightment ... but most generally, they go seeking help. When a library patron's need has been reduced to a well-defined body of information, that person can generally continue on their own. A primary function for the digital library must therefore be to provide partrons with help at all phases of their interaction with whatever content the library covers.

Potentially Relevant Position Paper by Gail McMillan

Put the Library in Digital Library (PDF version).