Marija Dalbello. (2005). A Phenomenological Study of an Emergent National Digital Library, Part I: Theory and Methodological Framework. Library Quarterly 75 (3:2005)

The activities surrounding the National Digital Library Program (NDLP) at the Library of Congress (1995-2000) are used to study institutional processes associated with technological innovation in the library context. Perceptions of individuals (from policy-makers to digital library developers) document the emergence of a digital library and the modalities of innovation process. Theories of social change and organizational rationality and the social construction of technology (SCOT) approaches provided the theoretical basis for this study. The theory, methodology and the data collection framework for this phenomenological study of emergent national digital library program and the summary of findings with implications for practice are discussed. The accompanying article, Part II (available as an electronic-only article in this issue), presents qualitative data and the application of the interpretive phenomenological framework, documenting the variability of the innovators' perspectives about this formative event. The paper identifies modalities of successful innovation and the characteristics of creative decision-making.