Energy Systems Laboratory:Building a Repository Collection and Planning for the Future




Koenig, Jay
Haberl, Jeff S.
Gilman, Don
Hughes, Sherrie

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The Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL) is a division of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station and part of the Texas A&M University System. First established in 1939, the ESL maintains a testing laboratory on the Riverside Campus in Bryan, Texas, and offices on the main campus of Texas A&M. The group consists of five faculty members from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as three faculty members from the Departments of Architecture and Construction Science. The lab currently employs approximately 120 staff members, including mechanical engineers, computer science graduates, lab technicians, support staff, and graduate and undergraduate students. The Lab focuses on energy-related research, energy efficiency, and emissions reduction, and has a total annual income for external research and testing exceeding $4.5 million. With energy research and policy at the forefront of public discussion, both academic and political, the urgency of making this research publicly available is very high.

The Energy Systems Laboratory collection in the Texas A&M Digital Repository is unique in a number of ways. After first contacting the library in March 2005, the ESL became one of Texas A&M's earliest adopters of the repository. The collection is very diverse, and contains conference proceedings, published articles, technical reports, and electronic theses and dissertations produced by students affiliated with the ESL. The ESL is also the first repository client to take the initiative of assigning staff members to learn the batch loading process for themselves, both relieving library staff of the burden and allowing the collection to expand even more rapidly. The collection has also successfully made the transition, despite some challenges, from the original DSpace interface to the Manakin-themed repository now in place.

After three years, the collection remains one of the largest collections in the system, continues to grow as more of the group's research and publications are added to the collection, and is held forth as a model collection to prospective repository clients in the Texas A&M community. This is a testament to the Energy Systems Laboratory's dedication to the building of their repository collection, and their clear understanding of the advantages of open access.

This presentation will discuss the excellent working relationship built between the Energy System Laboratory and the library, and how much relationships can be fostered with other collections as the repository expands. It will also recount the events leading up to the ESL's original adoption of the repository, and will chronicle the evolution of the repository collection, the addition of new content, the transition and adaptation to new technology, the copyright and other challenges faced, and the group's future needs for additional tools and services.


Presentation slides for the 2008 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries (TCDL).