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Global Resources Forum October 21, 2010 The Western Waters Digital Library: Building a Resource Through Multi- State Collaboration and Technology

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Presentation on theme: "Global Resources Forum October 21, 2010 The Western Waters Digital Library: Building a Resource Through Multi- State Collaboration and Technology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Resources Forum October 21, 2010 The Western Waters Digital Library: Building a Resource Through Multi- State Collaboration and Technology Dawn Paschal Assistant Dean, Digital Library and ePublishing Services Morgan Library, Colorado State University Gregory Thompson Associate Director for Special Collections Marriott Library, University of Utah

2 Overview Led by Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) Led by Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) Funded by IMLS ( ) and NEH ( ) grants Funded by IMLS ( ) and NEH ( ) grants Objectives: Objectives: –Begin developing comprehensive information resource –Establish a viable technical infrastructure –Serve as a collaborative model Initial river basins focus: Initial river basins focus: –Platte, Colorado, Rio Grande, and Columbia

3 Overview (cont’d.) Geographically distributed collections Geographically distributed collections –12 of 30 GWLA institutions participated in IMLS grant –4 of those 12 plus Water Resources Center Archives (Berkeley) participated in NEH grant ($338,444) Harvesting metadata to central server at Utah Harvesting metadata to central server at Utah –PKP harvester Sites using mostly CONTENTdm Sites using mostly CONTENTdm –Creates aggregated index for virtual, seamless searching of all collections from single website Balancing local control vs. central usability Balancing local control vs. central usability

4 Opportunities Develop collections, solve technological issues collaboratively Develop collections, solve technological issues collaboratively Digitize more types of material Digitize more types of material Widen use of metadata standards Widen use of metadata standards –Testing, refining Facilitate publicity to end-users and stakeholders Facilitate publicity to end-users and stakeholders

5 NEH Grant Participants Brigham Young U. Brigham Young U. Water Resources Center Archives Water Resources Center Archives Colorado State U. Colorado State U. University of Utah University of Utah Washington State U. Washington State U.

6 NEH Grant Participants Engaged team of 16 archivists, librarians, technical experts Engaged team of 16 archivists, librarians, technical experts Faculty advisors with expertise in western water issues Faculty advisors with expertise in western water issues –Recommended content based on research value, uniqueness, demand by faculty, other scholars –Guided by collection development policy

7 NEH Project Outcomes Expanded collaborative relationships established in Expanded collaborative relationships established in Exceeded objective to digitize 20,000 pages related to water policy and environmental history by digitizing or making accessible some 47,739 manuscript pages, legal documents, and photographic images (now over 75,000 in total) Exceeded objective to digitize 20,000 pages related to water policy and environmental history by digitizing or making accessible some 47,739 manuscript pages, legal documents, and photographic images (now over 75,000 in total) Redesigned and enhanced the WWDL web site Redesigned and enhanced the WWDL web site

8 NEH Project Outcomes Added initial repository of 30 Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids Added initial repository of 30 Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids Provided multiple ways to retrieve finding aids Provided multiple ways to retrieve finding aids Linked finding aid entries to corresponding digital objects for easy access by users Linked finding aid entries to corresponding digital objects for easy access by users

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19 Current Activity Outside of NEH Grant A dozen institutions (some outside GWLA) are contributing content to the WWDL via harvesting of metadata: A dozen institutions (some outside GWLA) are contributing content to the WWDL via harvesting of metadata: –Texas A&M University –University of Texas at Austin –Iowa State University –Utah State University –California Institute of Technology –University of Idaho

20 Challenges Content selection Content selection Metadata Metadata Technology Technology Communication Communication Funding Funding

21 Content Selection Selection of content is major challenge for any digital collection Selection of content is major challenge for any digital collection Driven by copyright, questions of risk, value Driven by copyright, questions of risk, value Discussions about target audience, project outcomes have informed identification of suitable content, but-- Discussions about target audience, project outcomes have informed identification of suitable content, but-- –Aggravated in a consortial environment Local sites focus on different aspects of the target audience Local sites focus on different aspects of the target audience Local sites involve different groups within the institution Local sites involve different groups within the institution Local sites have access to radically different source materials Local sites have access to radically different source materials

22 Metadata Project participants have agreed to follow the Western States Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices, version 2.0 Project participants have agreed to follow the Western States Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices, version 2.0 –The standards provide considerable latitude for some elements Some participants are harvesting from legacy collections that were created without adherence to these standards Some participants are harvesting from legacy collections that were created without adherence to these standards Aggregation of metadata reduces search granularity Aggregation of metadata reduces search granularity

23 Technology Harvesting and delivery of content have been a challenge Harvesting and delivery of content have been a challenge –Tweaks to metadata necessary to facilitate harvesting –Local changes in technology affect PKP harvester Must adapt to new and evolving technology Must adapt to new and evolving technology –Should we use something other than CONTENTdm, PKP harvester? –Harvesting metadata vs. central server with content Who monitors and maintains the web site? Who monitors and maintains the web site?

24 Communication GWLA direction and oversight GWLA direction and oversight –Executive Board/Library directors (30) –WWDL Deans Advisory Board WWDL communication forums WWDL communication forums –Monthly reports and conference calls with project coordinators –Semi-annual meetings at ALA –Online repository for reports, standards, minutes, etc. Electronic discussion list Electronic discussion list Consortia are fragile Consortia are fragile –Misunderstandings arise as result of misinformation –Competing priorities at local institutions

25 Funding Funding of public universities is shrinking Funding of public universities is shrinking Costs are increasing Costs are increasing Digital projects typically reliant on reallocation of existing resources Digital projects typically reliant on reallocation of existing resources Collaborative projects have become more attractive to funding organizations Collaborative projects have become more attractive to funding organizations –Indirect costs of lead university for administration can significantly reduce funds distributed to each participant

26 Where Do We Go From Here? Who will conduct usability studies? Who will conduct usability studies? Who should initiate next development phase? Who should initiate next development phase? What content should be added next? What content should be added next? Where should we seek funding? Where should we seek funding? How do we keep abreast of developing technology and remain user-focused? How do we keep abreast of developing technology and remain user-focused?

27 Website – Dawn Paschal, Assistant Dean, Digital Library & ePublishing Services Morgan Library, Colorado State University (970) Gregory Thompson, Associate Director for Special Collections Marriott Library, University of Utah (801) Contact Information


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