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Katelyn Buote

Michael Berube
ILS 655 S70
Dr. Yan Quan Liu
Fall 2014
This document is a prepatory explanation of the purpose and design of the Digital Library
Project to be completed by this paper's authors for ILS 655 Digital Libraries, held at Southern
CT State University during the Fall 2014 semester. This paper will outline the Mission
Statement, Collection Policy, Maintenance Policy, Access and Use and User Interface aspects of
this DL Project. As an introduction, an explanation of the existence and purpose of Al-Anon may
be in order. The Al-Anon Family Groups were found in 1936 with the purpose of helping
families of alcoholics. Al-Anon members do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA
themselves and by giving hope and comfort to other families of alcoholics. Typically members
can write sharings that are passed around throughout the group and read at meetings in order to
share the author's experience, hope and strength with the other members of the group. Recently
there has been a shift to transmitting these written sharings via the internet. This can allow AFG
members from around the world to contribute to the purpose of their organization and to benefit
from other members' sharings. That being said we have decided upon a simple name that will not
distract the already perturbed newcomer who is seeking solace from this self-help group.
Title: The title of the DL Project that we are creating will be The Al-Anon Family Groups
Digital Library. This title encompasses the purpose this DL will be made to fulfill. The target
audience is Al-Anon members, newcomers and long timers who desire readings with subjects
that fit their individual needs.
Mission Statement/About: This digital library was created to provide international Al-Anon
members access to an indexed collection of Al-Anon resources such as the three Legacies,
member sharings and the group's public literature which are to be organized in a manner that is
easily searchable by subject.
Collection Policy: Electronic objects in the collection are to originate from public domain
sources, ie: public literature that the AFG publishes such as pamphlets, bookmarks, and flyers.
These documents may originate in hard copy therefore they will need to be scanned at a decent
resolution so that the text is clear and understandable. Additional resources for the collection can
originate as member sharings given to the AFG World Service Organization which are stored out
of the public view on the WSO's website. All resources will be conference approved according to
Al-Anon's policy about their literature, will support Al-anon members and must be available to
users at no cost.

Organization of collection: This collection is organized into 3 collections (Sharings, public

literature, and portal). Resources can be searched by subject (such as gratitude, loss, happiness,
anger, etc.). Additionally, the Three Legacies (Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve
Concepts) will be organized within the overall structure of the Digital Library project's web
Resource descriptions: Dublin Core will be used to apply metadata in a consistent fashion to all
digital objects within the AFG DL. Some fields of DC will not be used, such as the Language
field, as most if not all AFG literature is in English as that is the main demand from users.
Access and use: A search bar ala Google will be provided for users to search the objects of the
collection for literature that meets their specific needs. Keyword search will include structured
elements such as LCSH and the Al-Anon slogans. Navigation will be modeled upon a basic
inter-threaded website to allow ease of use for novice users. Each page will link to each other
page, or at least will link back to the homepage for easy navigation. Additionally the portal
collection page will allow users to access their home state's AFG homepage in a new window to
allow the users to utilize both resources simultaneously.
Services features: Besides the state by state resource portal, there will be email links to the DL's
administrator so users can report dead links or other errors. Social Media brings too much chance
of violating AFG's policy of anonymity therefore blogs, discussion boards and commentary will
not appear in this DL project. Rather this DL will seek to put emphasis on users sharing their
commentary with their home groups and face-to-face meetings instead as a way to align the
policies of this DL project with those of the overall Al-Anon organization and its guiding
philosophies and policies.
Interface design: This DL will look like a standard simple webpage with tables of links to
follow to different parts of the DL's collections of resources. A traditional interface will allow
users to navigate to the different areas of the collection easily upon first use. Additionally, a
search bar displayed prominently at the top of the homepage will allow users the use of powerful
search tools to aid them in discovering resources which could be of help to their situation.
Enhancement, Evaluation &/or Maintenance plan: As a part of our maintenance plan,
because the WSO maintains collections of sharings, there will be a DL site administrator who
cooperates with the WSO site administrator to ensure access to the collection is never lost. The
literature will be available in TIF format to ease conversion and display and links will be
checked periodically by the DL administrator for broken links. Users can also support
maintenance of this DL project by being able to report dead links to the DL admin.