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November 2007

Same library, new home

Although most visitors to the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) wouldn’t know it, the virtual collection now has a new home at NCAR.

The DLESE Program Center, a UOP program since 2000, became Digital Learning Sciences (DLS) in October, when the original NSF grant for DLESE expired. It also modified its mission.

Users can still access the DLESE collection just as before, however. CISL is housing the virtual library’s cyberinfrastructure, while the NCAR Library manages its collection development and curation.

As the DLESE Program Center’s funding came to a close, an advisory board of former DLESE steering committee members and experts in geoscience education, information technology, and library sustainability considered a variety of hosts for DLESE. Because NCAR can provide cyberinfrastructure and information management expertise and its educational mission is well aligned with DLESE’s, the advisory board recommended that the organization host the library.

“We recognized that keeping everything at a single institution made sense,” explains Karon Kelly, DLS director at UCAR. Tamara Sumner, associate professor at CU, is executive director of DLS.

Not only is DLESE now preserved for the future, but Karon emphasizes that it also serves as a sustainability model for other digital libraries. “We think that our experience could be valuable to other programs with short-term funding that have widespread community interest and use, similar to DLESE,” she says.

The new UOP program, DLS, is a collaboration between UCAR and the Institute of Cognitive Science at CU-Boulder. Its mission is to develop systems and services that enable science and educational organizations—school districts, universities, libraries, and publishers—to organize, manage, and enrich online resources to improve learning outcomes. It is also responsible for maintaining DLESE’s underlying software.

The program, which includes a dozen UCAR staff, has a number of projects on tap. These include helping Denver Public Schools develop a curriculum customization tool that helps teachers better meet the needs of diverse learners while also fulfilling the district’s learning goals. Another project is a collaboration with a consortium of libraries in Colorado and Wyoming to develop and share institutional repositories.
“I’m really looking forward to developing programs around our new mission and formalizing our relationship with CU,” Karon says.

While Karon is responsible for the overall management of DLS and its strategic and operational planning, Tamara is taking the lead on strategy development and DLS’s research program. With a joint appointment between CU’s Institute of Cognitive Science and the computer science department, she has experience with interactive learning environments, digital libraries, and other information systems.•

On the Web

More about DLS

Access the DLESE collection

In this issue...

IPCC contributors share in Nobel Peace Prize

Remembering John Firor and Janet Roberts

Sunrise test flight successful

Same library, new home

A firsthand look at disappearing sea ice

NCAR launches Women in Science committee

Fantastic forum

Staff win awards for science, multicultural service

Just One Look

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