Oregon Explorer: the evolution of a natural resources digital library at OSU


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The Oregon Explorer is a natural resources digital library that accesses and integrates data and content from state and federal agencies, local governments, university scientists and citizens to support informed decisions and actions. Presentation to the Greater Western Library Alliance (April, 2009).

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  • Oregon State University Libraries has a vision for digital library development that includes the user as both partner and beneficiary. The evolution of this collaborative natural resources digital library over the last 8 years is what we would like to share with you today. As a geographer, Janine represents the natural resource user, and Ruth represents the library administrator perspective. Ruth is the Research and Innovative Services (RIS) Department Head at OSU Libraries, and Janine is the natural resources digital library program director at OSU Libraries. Presentation abstract: The Oregon Explorer is a natural resources digital library that accesses and integrates data and content from state and federal agencies, local governments, university scientists and citizens to support informed decisions and actions. It creates and builds shared understanding about Oregon’s natural resource and environmental issues by people concerned with Oregon’s natural resources and environment. The OE team develops customized reporting, visualization and mapping tools to provide decision support data and information in order to improve natural resource and environmental management. The content presented on OE is stored primarily in the Libraries’ ScholarsArchive (Dspace and Content-DM) and uses LibraryFind as a search engine. Empower users to share their information with others in order to, problems and opportunities and build community networks.  In this webinar, we will conduct a demonstration of OE and discuss the joys and problems surrounding its development.
  • Oregon Explorer: the evolution of a natural resources digital library at OSU

    1. 1. Janine Salwasser & Ruth Vondracek Oregon State University Libraries
    2. 2. Oregon State University <ul><li>Land, Sea, Space and Sun Grant Institution </li></ul><ul><li>Situated close to federal/state research facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Home of the Institute for Natural Resources – Oregon University System </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining natural resources is one of OSU’s five thematic focus areas (OSU Strategic Plan - 2004) </li></ul>
    3. 3. OSU Libraries’ Role <ul><li>Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance digital collections in areas of historical strength and institutional excellence (e.g. natural resources) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide user centered service leading to user self-sufficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborate with the Institute for Natural Resources and other academic institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Means </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use endowment funds as seed money for pilot projects and staff development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase capacity for successful grant writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue successful fund raising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in and value what we have to offer as partners. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Digital Libraries: <ul><li>Working definition: </li></ul><ul><li>“… a managed environment of multimedia materials in digital form, designed for the benefit of its user population , structured to facilitate access to its contents, and equipped with aids to navigate the global network …” </li></ul><ul><li>Mel Collier,ISDL’97, </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.dl.ulis.ac.jp/ISDL97/proceedings/collier.htm </li></ul>
    5. 5. Needs Assessment: What, When? <ul><li>2001 Goal: Create a natural resource digital library based on what users want and need: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic Scope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses and Usability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http://www.istl.org/02-winter/article2.html </li></ul>
    6. 6. Needs Assessment: 2001 Findings <ul><li>Users can articulate what they want and need from a digital library </li></ul><ul><li>Users want a wide variety of information in a wide variety of formats </li></ul><ul><li>Topics of greatest interest include: forestry, watersheds, land and water use </li></ul><ul><li>Place matters… </li></ul>
    7. 7. Importance of Place <ul><li>Access to multiple spatial scales wanted and needed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watershed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>County </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecoregion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pacific Northwest (incl. British Columbia) </li></ul></ul>“ Always a need to anchor a natural resource issue with a geographic location.” Dr. David Hulse, University of Oregon
    8. 8. Moving Forward with a Natural Resource Digital Library <ul><li>Users were not aware of any accessible system or digital library that enables: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spatial and non-spatial information discovery; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information integration and synthesis; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of information quality; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking . </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Digital Library Conceptual Framework Users Web Portal Data/Content Tools Expertise Distributed Information Resources User Defined Information Levels
    10. 10. Natural Resource Digital Library Users <ul><li>Natural resource decision-makers </li></ul><ul><li>Public Agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Watershed council members </li></ul><ul><li>Soil and water conservation district staff </li></ul><ul><li>Local planners </li></ul><ul><li>Extension agents </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Educators </li></ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul><ul><li>Media staff </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Landowners </li></ul><ul><li>Interested public </li></ul>
    11. 11. Digital library prototype: Willamette Basin Explorer <ul><li>Natural Resources Digital Library for Willamette Basin </li></ul><ul><li>Place-based resource </li></ul><ul><li>Supports informed natural resource decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>www.willametteexplorer.info </li></ul><ul><li>Launched in June, 2004 </li></ul>
    12. 12. Oregon Explorer <ul><li>Natural Resources Digital Library for Oregon </li></ul><ul><li>Place-based resource </li></ul><ul><li>Supports informed natural resource decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>www.oregonexplorer.info </li></ul><ul><li>Launched in June, 2007 </li></ul>
    13. 13. Current digital library services: <ul><li>Learn about critical natural resource issues </li></ul><ul><li>Browse multi-media stories </li></ul><ul><li>View data and make custom maps and reports </li></ul><ul><li>Access archived digital information </li></ul><ul><li>View photos, and videos </li></ul><ul><li>Search datasets </li></ul><ul><li>Download GIS data </li></ul><ul><li>Access photos, imagery, videos, audio files </li></ul><ul><li>Contact the experts </li></ul><ul><li>Submit content to ScholarsArchive@OSU </li></ul><ul><li>Give feedback </li></ul>
    14. 14. Evolution of the Oregon Explorer <ul><li>Basin Portals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Willamette Basin Explorer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Topic Portals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Land Use Explorer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data Portals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Imagery Explorer </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Oregon Explorer Portals Current In Development
    16. 16. Most popular features accessed: <ul><li>Multimedia stories </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping tools </li></ul><ul><li>Visualization and reporting tools </li></ul><ul><li>Imagery </li></ul>
    17. 17. Multimedia stories
    18. 18. Mapping tools: basic and advanced
    19. 19. Example of mapping tool product
    20. 20. Visualization and reporting tools
    21. 21.
    22. 22.
    23. 23. Oregon Explorer data portal: Accessing Imagery
    24. 24.
    25. 25. Current Digital Library System Architecture
    26. 26. Partnerships provide full spectrum of expertise <ul><li>Digital Library Development </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Library Content </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Library Funding </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Library Use and Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Provide technological expertise for digital library infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Supply the quantity, quality, depth and breadth of information collected and maintained </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities for cost-sharing and fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Create an expanded community of interest and use </li></ul>
    27. 27. Library Information Systems Computer Natural Resources Social “ Sciences” Public Agencies Planners Educators Conservation/Restoration Groups Decision makers Researchers Content Providers and Users Development Content $$$ Usability
    28. 28. Partnership Success Factors <ul><li>Shared community of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual benefits realized </li></ul><ul><li>Executive champion </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise fit and availability </li></ul><ul><li>Money and in-kind contributions to move forward </li></ul><ul><li>Each participant has a good track record in collaboration, communication, and outcomes. </li></ul>
    29. 29. Value of Needs Assessment & Partnerships <ul><li>Our needs assessment proved an important process for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>identifying content and technology parameters important to users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>identifying partners engaged in related activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participating in effective partnerships helps to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>meet the users’ long term information need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>address long-term sustainability and stewardship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>share-costs and expertise </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Contacts <ul><li>ruth.vondracek@oregonstate.edu </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Oregon State University Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>121 The Valley Library </li></ul><ul><li>Corvallis, Oregon 97331-4501 </li></ul>