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January 9, 2008
BOULDER-The nation's most extensive collection of digital learning resources for geoscience education is now based at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The move ensures that the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE), developed with funding from the Geosciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF), will continue to serve hundreds of thousands of K-12 educators and learners around the country.
DLESE had previously been funded through a five-year grant from NSF. During that grant period (2002-2007), the DLESE archive and program center were located at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which also operates NCAR, a federally funded research and development center.
The move to NCAR will enable DLESE and its users to benefit from NCAR's extensive cyberinfrastructure and expertise in information management. NCAR library staff will maintain the DLESE collection.
Digital libraries nationwide are exploring ways to maintain continuity in a time of rapid technological change and uncertainties in funding.
"NSF asked that we find some way to preserve open access to the collection," says Karon Kelly, the UCAR director of Digital Learning Sciences, a collaborative program with the University of Colorado at Boulder that supports DLESE and other digital learning resources.
In determining where to move its collection, DLESE called on a group of experts in information science, geoscience education, and business as well as members of DLESE's former steering committee and advisory board. They examined potential models of sponsorship and membership and looked carefully at which parts of the DLESE collection should be sustained in the absence of dedicated funding.
"Providing a long-term home for this important resource supports NCAR's educational mission and fits with the NCAR library's plans to provide increased digital services to the broader scientific and educational community," says Mary Marlino, director of e- Science and the library at NCAR.
"DLESE was an early pioneer in NSF's efforts to establish digital science libraries," says Jill Karsten, program director for diversity and education in the NSF Geosciences Directorate. "Once again, DLESE is helping to lead the way for the science education community by identifying new strategies for sustaining library operations and keeping these important educational resources available for a global community of educators and students."
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.