Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011ID175B

Development of the Idaho Watershed Digital Library

Institute: Idaho
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2013-03-01
Total Federal Funds: $11,796 Total Non-Federal Funds: $5,299

Principal Investigators: Devin Becker, Jodi Haire

Abstract: Currently, a vast amount of public material related to Idaho water issues generally, and the Boise River watershed specifically, exists that is not easily accessed via electronic means. Consequently, those researching Idaho water issues spend an unnecessarily large amount of time simply tracking down the relevant papers, reports, datasets, and other materials they need to begin their research. This indicates a need for a central repository that researchers can publicly access, effectively browse, and efficiently search. The Boise Watershed Digital Library project would address this problem by developing and then providing access to a central digital repository for Boise Watershed materials by identifying, collecting, assessing, and cataloging relevant documents and then uploading these materials into the University of Idaho Librarys ContentDM enabled database and maintained and administered as part of the Librarys Digital Collections. In order to accomplish this task, the library will utilize the expertise of librarians, staff members, and graduate student assistants to collect, catalog, and ingest this material. We will first collect the most easily identifiable and retrievable documents, which will then be used to establish a local metadata standard that will both accommodate a variety of materials and be mappable to Dublin Core, the basic metadata standard used within libraries across the country. After these materials are gathered and cataloged, the Digital Initiatives librarian will upload them into the ContentDM database and establish a new collection, the Boise Watershed Digital Library. Having established a core group of documents, the library will work with other academic departments on campus to hire a research assistant who will be familiar enough with water resources materials to be able to compile less easily identifiable watershed materials. These resources may be difficult to locate despite their mostly residing in the public domain, due to some of the materials being available in print format only, or located in local, non-networked repositories. The task of finding, compiling, and cataloging this material will be ongoing and require the largest time investment for the project. After new materials are compiled and cataloged, the Digital Initiatives librarian at the university will upload batches of the materials quarterly into the database. Eventually the Boise Watershed Digital Library will become part of the larger Idaho Waters Digital Library that includes materials pertaining to water resources from across the state. Our objectives in building this digital library are consequently not only to establish the central digital repository researchers, scholars, and other stakeholders desire, but also to establish a model by which other specific watershed materials may be gathered, cataloged, and accessed. We envision the compilation of all this material creating a confluence that enables scholars to streamline their research so as to spend less time finding materials and more time creating new research and analyzing research and data already collected.