Ann Overton (434) 293-1912
March 5, 2008
VIRGINIA-U.S. PARTNERSHIP TO SPEED INFORMATION RETRIEVAL
VDOT Library Leading Centralized Online Archive of Transportation Research
The National Transportation Library (NTL) is partnering with VDOT because VDOT's library is already digitizing, or scanning, the full 60-year catalog of reports from the Virginia Transportation Research Council, VDOT’s research division. The Research Council now has about 10 years worth of its reports online.
NTL is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, or RITA. In addition to this NTL-VDOT alliance, also making this project possible is the longstanding partnership of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) with NTL, which hosts the free Transportation Research Information Service (TRIS) Online for TRB.
Because of the magnitude of the VDOT library’s catalog and holdings (more than 37,000 items), the nationally known expertise of its staff and its proximity to NTL, the two organizations concluded they could launch this venture as a national model for other transportation libraries.
TRIS Online already has in its index the titles of most of these reports now being scanned, so this initiative adds a stable and permanent link to their full text.
“NTL’s pilot project with VDOT’s library is a perfect model for the transportation information sector as we increase the availability of high-quality digital documents from this trusted source for both our stakeholders and the public to use wherever they are,” said Amanda J. Wilson, NTL director in Washington.
“Other major national libraries already are working to provide full-text access to their research through such partnerships,” Wilson added, citing similar digital catalogs at the National Library of Medicine and the National Agriculture Library, which is transforming all its resources into the National Digital Library of Agriculture. “No library can capture all of the online information produced within the scope of its collection without such partnering.”
While reports and documents still will be available through each state’s transportation library, having them centrally archived at NTL will ensure a consistent electronic location in perpetuity. This is because server addresses, or URLs, can change as local computer systems are adjusted for capacity and other reasons over time.
“We no longer have the luxury of reinventing ideas from state to state because original work cannot be located or people don’t know it exists elsewhere,” said Gary Allen, VDOT’s chief of technology, research and innovation. “This initiative will allow decision makers and their staffs to easily retrieve information from a single source, saving untold millions in money and time for future projects.”
VDOT’s Knowledge Management Division oversees the library, which is housed in Charlottesville. The VDOT library is also leading the creation of the Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network, another consortium of transportation libraries, in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
For more information about VDOT’s library, contact:
- Maureen Hammer, Knowledge Management division administrator, (434) 293-1987
- Ken Winter, library director, (434) 293-1959
- Patricia DeSalvo, associate librarian, (434) 293-1965
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.