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As you may well have seen, IMLS released its 2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries awards last week <see http://www.imls.gov/whatsnew/current/092005_nlgindex.htm for the entire list>.


DLF libraries made a strong showing, and apologies if I missed anyone:  


Indiana University - Bloomington, IN - $768,747

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Building Digital Resources


Over the past several decades, information technology has become an essential part of how music libraries deliver services and collections to music students and faculty. Yet, even with technological advances, music students and faculty have not been able to transform routine listening assignments that traditionally involve studying a printed score while listening to a recording. Over the past four years Indiana University (IU) has developed an experimental digital music library system known as Variations2. Building on IU's past experience in creating the original Variations, one of the world's first digital music library systems, Variations2 provides a complete environment in which students and faculty can discover, listen to, view, annotate, and interact with music. It is clear from consistent communication that many libraries, of all sizes, public as well as academic, are interested in implementing a system like Variations2 for their clientele. However, the current Variations2 system is tied to the technical and service environment of IU and additional work is required to turn it into a system that can be distributed and used by others. The Indiana University Digital Library Program project will create Variations3, a turnkey digital music library and learning system that can be easily deployed at a wide range of college and university libraries with minimal technical support and at minimal cost to the institutions.



OCLC/Rutgers University, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies - New Brunswick, NJ - $684,996

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Research and Demonstration


Rutgers University School of Communication, Information and Library Studies and OCLC Online Computer Library Center will research and evaluate the sustainability and relevance of virtual reference services (VRS). VRS are human-mediated, Internet-based library information services. The increasing use of VRS by the public has increased the demand on libraries to provide reference services online, and this project aims to improve libraries' ability to respond to the demand. The project will develop a theoretical model for VRS that incorporates interpersonal and content issues and will make research-based recommendations for library staff to increase user satisfaction and attract nonusers. It will also make recommendations for VRS software development and interface design and produce a research agenda for user-centered VRS.


University of Chicago - Chicago, IL - $249,857

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Building Digital Resources


The Goodspeed Manuscript Collection Project will produce a digital collection of 65 Greek, Syriac, Ethiopian, Armenian, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts dating from the seventh to the nineteenth centuries. Created in many of the key production centers of Asia Minor, the Balkans, Armenia, and North Africa, these resources are seriously understudied because access is currently limited to individual, on-site consultation. The manuscripts are of great artistic and historical, significance and include examples of the Byzantine and Eastern schools of manuscript illumination. The digital collection project will allow, free to the public, comparative and cross-cultural textual and iconographic research through open source interfaces for searching, browsing, page turning, and zooming in and out of high-resolution images.


University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI - $510,205

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Research and Demonstration


Institutional repositories are under development on many academic campuses and are becomingly an increasingly important information resource for researchers, faculty, students, and other members of the academic community. The University of Michigan's School of Information will investigate the development of institutional repositories in colleges and universities to identify models and best practices in administration, technical infrastructure, and access to collections. The researchers will survey institutional repositories in North America, produce case studies that illustrate key elements contributing to successful repositories, specify variables that influence success, evaluate repositories through user studies, and create instruments and protocols for reuse of data by other investigators and repository staff.


University of Tennessee - Knoxville, TN - $928,080

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Building Digital Resources


The University of Tennessee and nine partner institutions throughout the state will build a free, full-text searchable electronic database of 10,000 unique and historically significant items from Tennessee libraries, museums, and other repositories. The project will create three regional centers to administer a statewide network of shared resources, provide training opportunities, and developing common technical standards. It will also begin to integrate digitized primary sources into the state's K-12 teaching curriculums through user-based assessments. An online database of primary sources will enable teachers to introduce students to important topics and integrate resources into lessons. Tennessee history is a vital component of the state education system and has contributed to the nation's historical record since the early republic period to the present. The project will connect libraries, museums, and archives throughout Tennessee directly to teachers, students, researchers, and others.


University of Tennessee, Office of Research - Knoxville, TN - $199,995

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Research and Demonstration


The University of Tennessee, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, will analyze the needs and query behaviors of users who search for information on the Web. The aim of the project is to create new models for information discovery that incorporate algorithms for conceptual matching, allowing users to search for concepts as an alternative to entering search terms. The research will affect the design of new search interactions for digital libraries and Web search engines.


University of Texas at Austin, Office of Sponsored Projects - Austin, TX - $157,172

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Research and Demonstration


The Open Choice project will create, test, and evaluate an "open source" Internet content filter for use in libraries.




Two others that caught my eye – not from DLF members but from projects by faculty on our IMLS/OAI Scholars’ Advisory Panel.  SmartFox addresses that often-heard need from scholars for a way to gather up material into personal collections (an area also addressed in other ways by Berkeley’s Scholars Box and Waikato’s Greenstone).


George Mason University - Fairfax, VA - $249,420

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Building Digital Resources


George Mason University's Center for History and New Media will develop free, open source Web browser tools to enhance the use of digital library and museum collections. These tools will turn a regular browser into SmartFox: the Scholar's Browser for Digital Collections, which will allow users to capture and organize digital scholarly materials. SmartFox will relieve libraries and museums of the need to build personal collection tools for their users and will leverage the substantial investment they have already made in digitizing collection materials. In addition to capturing and organizing digital materials seamlessly from diverse, heterogeneous sources it will also enable better provenance and rights tracking for items collected in scholarly research.


University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Lincoln, NE - $169,651

2005 National Leadership Grants for Libraries - Research and Demonstration


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries will use the Walt Whitman Archive project to create a model metadata encoding and transmission standard (METS) profile for digital thematic research collections. Digital thematic research collections constitute a distinct class of digital collection that typically requires high-quality data and metadata, in-depth description, high resolution files, and encoded texts. While standards have been developed for each of these, there has not yet been a disciplined effort to integrate the standards. Created by scholars in collaboration with librarians/archivists, thematic research collections are directed primarily at other scholars, though they are also used by students from kindergarten through graduate school, and by life-long learners. By standardizing the way metadata is encoded, creators of digital thematic research collections can make their work more sustainable and universally usable. The Whitman Archive is a complex project that uses multiple metadata schema thereby providing an excellent test case.