published December 1, 2007

SENCER E-Newsletter, December 2007, Volume 7, Issue 2

SENCER Launches Digital Library Program

Chuck Gahun - Program Manager, SENCER Digital Library

The SENCER national office is undertaking a major initiative to identify, categorize and deliver digital content via the web to the all members of the SENCER community. The SENCER Digital Library Program (SENCER-DLP) will create mechanisms and workflows to automate the submission and delivery of digital content on the SENCER website via a content management system. The program will have two major projects: The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) Software Customization Project and the Controlled Vocabularies Project. Both are scheduled to launch in August 2008.

The SERC Software Customization Project, led by Cathy Manduca at Carleton College, will leverage SERC's content management system and associated software tools to create a digital library of SENCER materials, including newsletter articles, backgrounder papers, course models and current online documents. The Digital Library will greatly enhance the accessibility of SENCER's wealth of resources, and will make searches more efficient and effective. Currently, for example, if you search for a newsletter article, the search retrieves the entire newsletter that you then must page through to find the topic of interest. The Digital Library will instead direct you to the exact article, separated from its original format so that it is easily readable and downloadable. The library will support search and browse of new and existing materials and will allow users to contribute new materials from multiple authors. This will allow all SENCER alumni to more easily share materials and resources. Furthermore, metadata from each piece of content on the SENCER site will be synchronized regularly with the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Controlled Vocabularies Project will identify content, define content categories and extract metadata and create controlled vocabularies, and enter content and metadata into the new system. Claire McInerney of Rutgers University, will lead the project, assisted by a graduate student, Krista White, and two undergraduate students, Kerri Hueftle and Melody Townley. The program is scheduled to be launched and placed into production in early August, 2008. Please look for more information about this exciting new project over the coming months!