Digital Watersheds: One Library's Approach to Expanding Access to Water Resources Information

TitleDigital Watersheds: One Library's Approach to Expanding Access to Water Resources Information
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWirth, AA
JournalProceedings (Geoscience Information Society)
Type of ArticleArticle
KeywordsDigital Collections, Libraries, water resources
AbstractOregon State University Libraries has developed a variety of digital collections that support the university's commitment to natural resources research. Two of these collections are the Umpqua Basin Explorer and the Middle East Water Collection. The existence of both of these digital initiatives represents the ongoing collaborative work between librarians, natural resources specialists, and researchers - particularly those involved in water policy and management. This paper describes the unique collaborative structure that has evolved for both of these collections as well as the technology used to develop each collection. Oregon Explorer (www.oregonexplorer.info) was created in order provide efficient access to the information needed by Oregonians to make informed natural resources decisions. The content for the Umpqua Basin Explorer (a portal of the Oregon Explorer) is being developed through collaboration with the Partnership for Umpqua Rivers (PUR). PUR has provided insight into the needs of the stakeholders and the Umpqua Basin natural resources community (agencies, organizations, consultants, etc.). We have used PUR's regional expertise in conjunction with the libraries' technical capabilities and comprehensive natural re-sources collection to develop a digital library for the Umpqua Basin community. The Middle East Water Collection (http://digitalcollections.library.oregonstate.edu/mewaters/) provides access to 9000 items on political, socioeconomic, demographic, and legal issues of water in the Middle East that originate from a variety of publishers and national and multinational agencies and organizations. Though only a small portion of this collection has been digitized, the database is a discovery tool for the entire collection