Collection Development for an Environmental Science Digital Library
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This presentation will focus on University of North Texas Libraries’ strategies for creating digital collections and services from datasets for users outside of formal education and research in support a proposed international digital library for environmental science. Some collection development for the Environmental Science Digital Library (ESDL) will stem from harvested web content from the government domain (.gov). These materials will include environmental policy and documentation from the websites of various federal agencies and departments from before the 2008 election, after the 2008 election, and following the 2009 inauguration. As a result, the collection will allow users to see how federal policies changed during the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. The ESDL will also host content contributed from institutional partners. This would include white papers, datasets, images, video, simulations, and applications. Much of the ESDL content will be born digital. This will provide the opportunity and challenge of generating new content and services by compiling information from discrete data sources to create new applications. An example of such a service would be a map that imported data from one source, measuring soil, water, and air quality. Layering that map over another one with regions encoded by environmental policy would be useful for determining how environmental policy has an impact on measures of environmental quality. The team developing the ESDL believes that the values and consequences of environmental science are important to a broader range of users than many other academic disciplines. The target audience of the digital library will be citizens and policy makers due to the ongoing needs of these groups for reliable information about environmental science and policy. This presentation will address the TCDL 2009 topics of interest by discussing how the ESDL project will create digital library services for a broad range of users, and how the digital library will add value to its collections through the use of imported datasets.