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Improving Access to Information Resources at Washington State DOT Transportation Research Board January 22, 2007 Leni Oman Director Office of Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Access to Information Resources at Washington State DOT Transportation Research Board January 22, 2007 Leni Oman Director Office of Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Access to Information Resources at Washington State DOT Transportation Research Board January 22, 2007 Leni Oman Director Office of Research & Library Services

2 Not your parents library anymore

3 It Just Makes Sense $12-24 million in savings per year from improving access to geotechnical samples and information Saving employees time and headaches Making better decisions by using available information Centralizing costs for shared information resources

4 Raw Materials and No Recipe The WSDOT Library On-site physical collection contains approximately 40,000 items Online access to nearly 40 journals in full text A growing digital collection through the Washington State Library WSDOT Data Catalog Project began July 2001 430 separate databases linking over 160,000 data elements Records Management Information System 150,000 + plans and as-built drawings scanned Photographs Digital & paper New & historic

5 Raw Materials and No Recipe Lessons Learned Database to support the sharing and communicating of what works and what does not for the purpose of improvement. In the first few months of use over 4000 page views per month. Numerous online resources > 165,000 Intranet pages ~77,500 Internet pages And More…

6 Customer Expectations WSDOT technical staff require access to standards, state-of-the-art research, and best practices information in a variety of topics. The demand for information Is NOW! Demand for News Alerts is up Substantial increase funding for projects adds to delivery expectations – maybe Increased focus on accountability, documentation, and efficiencies Loss of institutional knowledge through retirement Shifting expectations for delivery Comfort with technology Mobile environments Speed of delivery The reality of the electronic age lags behind expectation And we still love our paper copies… It means delivery at the item, document, or even fact level, just in time, in the desired format for the need at hand. Outsell TrendAlert: The Future Of Libraries

7 A WSDOT employee, working at their desk needs information they dont have… Because of good marketing in the agency, they know where to turn to get the information. They open their Internet browser to the Information portal and find a user-friendly menu of options. They choose the service they are looking for such as a literature review; facts on file; agency templates; access to a database; etc… Caption in Arial 10 pt. Italic

8 The Employee finds a User-Friendly Portal If they are searching for documents or data, the front end application asks them how they want to search for information – Geographically, topically, by title/author, or other formats. This interface is visually engaging and easy to use. With a click, they are taken to that search tool/aid (or they are all on the first page). They type in their search phrase or point and click to icons and retrieve information. The databases/systems which are being searched is not belabored but are noted while the search is underway (Now searching BIOSIS...) WSDOT Traveler Information SystemCooperating Libraries of Olympia, listing

9 The Portal Tools Help Refine the Search Can select output: narrative, tabular, geospatial data, or all. To help refine the search questions our librarians typically ask are programmed into the system. The results are provided in good English without cryptic abbreviations. When the site includes data references, the data platform, relevant uses, authorized users are identified. Once they find the data they want, they can save information under a custom account.

10 Information is Accessible Documents/data can be retrieved by point and click on the retrieved search list and the application highlights the specific text relevant to their search. Because the documents and data are tagged, they are able to find specifically what they're looking for. Information can be tagged for public or agency-only use improving consistency. The behind the scenes effort to obtain, catalog, index/tag, store information is not obvious. The employee is able to pull quotes for the documents with prompts to help them understand copyright laws and appropriate uses/references.

11 Most of the Time… If a document is not available electronically, the user is offered a menu for delivery Interlibrary loan Electronic document deliver Purchase of paper copies This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22616.

12 And it works! For the concept to work, the system needs to retrieve useful information The portal is easy to use The user understands what they are searching so they know whether they need to trace other avenues as well – and when to call in an information professional Ideally, it is somewhat fun to use Clockwise from top: Landsat Imagery 2001; WTP Data Library; 1996 Highway Accident Report; Changing Ageof Population Data; and East anchorage of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

13 From Here to There Need for a common language Engaging key information providers to discuss the concept and determine benefits, requirements, estimated costs, and opportunities Soliciting Executive support for the concept Marketing to key users And beginning to build the system, a piece at a time

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