Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017ID214B

Development of the Idaho Waters Digital Library, Phase Two

Institute: Idaho
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,100 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,200

Principal Investigators: Evan Williamson, Devin Becker, Jodi Haire

Abstract: The Idaho Waters Digital Library (IWDL) provides open digital access to unique information resources relating to water issues in key Idaho river basins (http://www.lib.uidaho.edu/digital/iwdl/). Phase one of the project, funded in FY2012, enabled University of Idaho Library Digital Initiatives to digitize and make available more than 400 previously inaccessible documents and create an interactive web interface enabling advanced browsing and discovery. To further enhance the value of the IWDL, phase two of the project seeks FY2017 funding to digitize the remaining print-based Idaho Water Resources Research Institute (IWRRI) materials from 1980 to 2012, making another 245 documents related to unique water resource research accessible and discoverable on the web. This will significantly increase the value of the repository as an aggregated resource, bringing vital content to researchers and other users. Supplementing the digitization effort, phase two will carry out infrastructure improvements to the repository database and web platform. The landscape of web access and digital preservation has changed since the IWDL was established. Digital Initiatives will further develop the public web interface incorporating principles of responsive design, accessibility, and search engine optimization that will ensure quality usability and discovery. Better use of metadata and structured markup will increase the findability of resources in the collection, connecting with more researchers. Database maintenance and an archival storage workflow will be developed to ensure long term preservation of digital assets. As with earlier work on this collection, the new phase of IWDL will inform our practice and serve as a model for other projects striving to navigate the changing digital landscape. It will provide access to a wealth of content and technical enhancements that add value for researchers, scholars, and other stakeholders. IWDL will support ongoing research and understanding of our region while preserving an era of previous work and research investment. The enhancements provided by phase two of IWDL development will solidify the value and importance of the collection, while ensuring quality user experience, discoverability, and stewardship for the long term.