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Transportation Division Bulletin
Kaleidoscope: News of TRN Members

April 2008

Contents

Message from the Chair

GTRIC at SLA

New Opportunities to Get Involved

Rising to Digital Challenges: Best Practices Exchange 2008

Vital Role of Transportation Libraries Focus of Presentation to US DOT RITA Administrator Paul Brubaker

Transportation Library Connectivity Pooled Fund: New Members & New Projects

CBS talks to the Iowa DOT Library

2008 Innovative Researcher Achievement Award Goes to Library Development Project

Accessing Documents Related to the Collapsed I-35W Bridge

Songs about Highways

Membership News
New Member Profile:
Lance Warren

 

Message from the Chair
by Connie Field, Chair, Transportation Division

The Annual Conference is just around the corner! I think you’ll find that we have a stimulating and most enjoyable assortment of learning opportunities and social events planned for our division, and I certainly look forward to seeing you there! If you have not yet visited or used the SLA Conference “personal planner,” be sure to sign in and make use of this valuable scheduling tool – you can sort by day, event, unit, etc. – and it will even show you where you have conflicts. Here’s the link: http://www.sla.org/content/Events/conference/ac2008/planner/index.cfm.

A brief reminder on Transportation-sponsored events:

Saturday, June 14, No-Host Dinner:
A no-host dinner for Division members will kick things off and help us mark our 65th Anniversary. Seyem Petrites of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley, is heading up the planning for this occasion, and will be sending out details on time and place very soon. Come and enjoy the festivity, and a little “walk down memory lane.”

Sunday, June 15, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. GTRIC:
“GTRIC: Your Bridge to the Dynamic World of Transportation Information” is your ticket to successfully navigating the maze of transportation information. See Rita Evans’ article elsewhere in this issue for details. This is definitely one you shouldn’t miss!

Tuesday, June 17, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m., Alternative Fuels: Technologies for a Healthy Planet:
Gasoline prices are soaring and global energy supplies are being squeezed. What potential do biofuels and other alternative fuels offer as a solution to this critical problem? Dr. Richard Nelson, biodiesel expert from Kansas State University, will demonstrate how biodiesel can be part of the answer. Also, a subject specialist with the National Agricultural Library will tell us about the specialized information resources for tracking and researching this area.

Tuesday, June 17, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Transportation Division Business Meeting:
Our annual business lunch meeting will include reports from the Committee Chairs, announcements from Division members, and introductions of our new members. We’ll also talk about new proposals and continuing 2008 projects including Sources in Transportation, a possible scholarship, and more. Bring your ideas and volunteer to be a part of the future action! 

Tuesday, June 17, 8:00-10:00 p.m. Open House:
Attend this fun evening event and officially celebrate the Transportation Division's 65th Anniversary! Network with colleagues in our own Division as well as those in the event's co-sponsoring Divisions--Government Division, Solo Librarians Division, and Petroleum & Energy Division. Enjoy a free drink (cash bar for your second) and nice layout of appetizers.

See you there!

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GTRIC at SLA
by Rita Evans, Library Director, Institute of Transportation Studies

GTRIC, the Government Transportation Research Information Committee of the Transportation Division, has organized a day-long program at the SLA Annual Conference in Seattle. This forum will focus on bringing transportation information professionals from government, agencies, universities and private industry together.

Speakers include Matthew Barrett, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; John Cherney, Wisconsin DOT; John Gallwey, University of California, Berkeley; Bonnie Osif, Penn State; Barbara Post, TRB; Roberto Sarmiento, Northwestern University Transportation Library; Kathy Szolomayer, Washington State DOT; Sandy Tucker, Texas A&M University; and Amanda Wilson, National Transportation Library.

On the agenda this year will be a segment outlining the various organizations and initiatives from the transportation library community and how they all fit together. There will be a report on the TRIS User Survey and how TRB will respond to that feedback. A how-to session on cataloging electronic technical reports will lead into a discussion of how best to access and preserve such material. The regional Transportation Knowledge Networks also will provide updates on their activities.

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New Opportunities to Get Involved
by Connie Field, Chair, Transportation Division

As our transportation library community expands its boundaries with new networks and organizations (TKNs, etc.), new online tools (wikis, etc.), and new ways to communicate and collaborate, it seems appropriate to fine-tune our Division’s committee structure to reflect these current developments. Our current Committees have met our needs very well in handling such responsibilities as fundraising, awards, membership, webmaster, bulletin editor, special projects, and nomination. Our Division’s by-laws allow us to establish additional committees as needed.

There are two new committees that I believe would be desirable additions. First, an Information Technology (IT) Committee (Web Site Committee?), which would oversee the Division’s presence on the SLA web site, and coordinate with the other committees in developing and updating various components of our site. As you may know, our Division’s web site was recently transferred from Northwestern University to the SLA site (http://units.sla.org/division/dtrn/index.html), where most of the Divisions house their web sites, and it’s probably a good time to give it a facelift. Do you have an interest and skills to contribute to this committee and assist our present Webmaster Joe Ellison? Please let Rita Evans (revans@library.berkeley.edu) or me (cfield@cement.org) know. And plan to attend our Board Meeting for more conversation on this.

The second committee is a Special Projects Committee. This committee would identify and oversee new collaborative projects – information sources, blogs, etc. – that would be valuable to the transportation community. It would assist with ongoing projects such as Sources of Information in Transportation (edited currently by Roger Garren, NTL—thank you, Roger!). Do you enjoy working on single, finite projects that can enhance our professional work? Again, please contact either Rita or me. For either of these new committees, Seattle will afford a perfect opportunity to meet informally, lay the groundwork, and get things off and running.

As for our “traditional” committees, by and large these have been managed “solo” by their respective Chairs, and I am grateful to them for their behind-the-scenes work and dedication! It would be desirable, however, to have at least one additional member on each committee to coordinate with and assist in accomplishing the committee’s mission. For instance, one of our goals is to increase our international representation. Perhaps you have some good outreach ideas. (How many libraries listed in TRB’s International Transport Sources, http://trblist.tamu.edu/products/international/, are or should be members of our Division?) Ruth Letson, Membership Chair, would welcome your participation on her committee with this in mind. Do you enjoy working with vendors? Bob Sweet would be pleased to have your assistance on the Fundraising Committee as we prepare for the 2009 Conference in Washington! Let us hear from you.

Maybe there are other Committees you believe we should create, or activate, such as diversity, mentoring, or strategic planning. Seattle will be a great time to put your ideas forward, but if you can’t make it to Seattle, just let us know your thoughts by email.

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The Montana Historical Society, the Montana State Library, the Montana Secretary of State's Records and Information Management Division, and the State Law Library of Montana invite you to: Rising to Digital Challenges: Best Practices Exchange 2008
by Lisa Autio, Librarian, Montana Dept of Transportation

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Montana is rarin’ to host Rising to Digital Challenges: Best Practices Exchange 2008 — at the art and outdoor recreation heart of the Montana Rockies — Helena, Montana, May 21-23, 2008.

Please be sure to book your hotel room ASAP as it will allow us to provide the quality conference you deserve. Visit our hotel information page at http://www.bpexchange.org/2008/hotel.php to book your room now!










Following the format of recent Best Practices Exchanges — 2006 and 2007 — this is not a conventional conference. We encourage you, the attendees, to present your projects and experiences, successes, failures and lessons learned. Multiple small-group Exchange Sessions will be conducted simultaneously, allowing for more in-depth and intimate "round table" type discussions. These sessions will cover five broad tracks related to digital information in the government environment: http://www.bpexchange.org/2008/tracks.php . This format gives you a unique opportunity to meet, experience, and cooperate with practitioners, educators, and researchers working through the same challenging digital issues you are facing.

To present, all you need to do is submit the title of your presentation and a short paragraph of description: http://www.bpexchange.org/2008/call.php. After that you have plenty of time to prepare! We encourage you to present informally your projects and experiences, successes, failures, and lessons learned in small group settings. View a list of presentations submitted to date: http://www.bpexchange.org/2008/presentations.php.

We are pleased to announce the keynote speaker and guest speakers. Keynote speaker is Roy Tennant, Senior Program Manager, RLG Programs OCLC Programs and Research. Guest speakers on marketing and grant-writing are Sara Groves, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Montana State Library and Lucy Barber, Director of Technology Initiatives, National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

BPE 2008 is open to practitioners in government and university archives, libraries and records management; educators/researchers in the fields of library science, information science, technology, archives, and records management; and product developers working to create systems for managing and preserving digital assets.

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Vital Role of Transportation Libraries Focus of Presentation to US DOT RITA Administrator Paul Brubaker
by Rita Evans, Library Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Berkeley

The University of California Transportation Center hosted a site visit from Paul Brubaker, Administrator, US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), on March 11. Prof. Betty Deakin, director of UCTC, asked me to address the topic of “Linking State DOTs and University Research and Resources.”

Since transportation libraries are the bridges that link state DOTs and university research, this was a great opportunity to talk about the critical role transportation libraries and librarians play in this process.

I described the very active transportation library community and the different roles played by the SLA Transportation Division, the National Transportation Library, TRB’s LIST Committee, the Transportation Knowledge Networks, state DOT libraries and the university libraries.

Focusing on the Transportation Division, I outlined how GTRIC (Government Transportation Research Information Committee), a day-long program at SLA’s Annual Conference, brings together government, agency, university and private sectors players for formal and informal information exchange. The division also produces tools such as Sources of Information in Transportation and the TranLib discussion list.

I noted the role that NTL plays in providing leadership and tools to facilitate information transfer. NTL is increasingly pushing technology deployment for effective access to and preservation of electronic resources. In fostering communication, the monthly Transportation Librarian Roundtables are providing a new forum that works regardless of our geographic location.

For TRB LIST’s Committee, I discussed how the group cooperates with non-librarians on TRB committees such as Data and Information Systems to produce programs at the annual meeting on topics of broad interest such as the findability of information and leveraging research information for web publishing.

I highlighted the current collaboration between VDOT Library and the NTL on digitizing a 60-year backfile of technical reports from VTRC. TRB is providing support in enhancing existing TRIS records with links to full-text publications. This is an outstanding example of cooperation that leverages the expertise of different elements within the transportation library community and it could provide a national model for similar projects in other states.

The regional Transportation Knowledge Networks are providing a framework for cooperation for transportation librarians throughout the U.S. I noted that having formal networks in place is particularly important for state DOT and agency librarians who often operate as solo librarians. The TKNs can provide assistance in sharing resources and expertise in capturing and disseminating electronic information.

The university transportation libraries play a special role in acquiring, cataloging, indexing and making accessible a wide range of transportation resources including reports of their own institutional research. I noted that the collections at Northwestern University’s Transportation Library and UC Berkeley’s ITS Library are many times the size of the typical DOT library and tools such as TLCat help to make these resources visible. One of the university libraries’ big contributions is providing expert cataloging which is copied by other libraries, many of which do not have catalogers on staff.

Tools such as TRIS, the TRB Publications Index, online catalogs and the Google Transportation meta search also were described as were efforts by NUTL and ITSL to improve access to electronic technical reports.

Administrator Brubaker asked a number of questions that demonstrated he understands the players and what we are focused on. This presentation was a good opportunity to shine the light on our many efforts to link the practitioners in state DOTs and other agencies with the research being performed in universities.

The presentation can be viewed at

http://www.its.berkeley.edu/library/staff/brubaker_uctc_031108.ppt

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Transportation Library Connectivity Pooled Fund: New Members & New Projects
by Maggie Sacco, Library Consultant Services

The Transportation Library Connectivity pooled fund study welcomes new members New York State Department of Transportation and Michigan Department of Transportation as we continue our Year 3 work. Librarians Jane Minotti (NYSDOT) and Alexandra Briseno (MDOT) are both active in their regional Transportation Knowledge Networks and we are looking forward to exploring the ways that the pooled fund can help them achieve their goals for their libraries and departments.

We are pursuing some exciting projects in 2008, including providing hands-on workshops and access to timely research in the field of information delivery and library services, library ROI applications, and strategic planning for libraries and consortia. We are also partnering with the National Transportation Library and the three regional TKNs (Midwest, West and East) to pilot an interlibrary loan program that will focus on OCLC WorldCat borrowing, training and quick turnaround of materials.

Site visits resumed this year with Maggie Sacco’s visit to the Louisiana Transportation Research Center in March. The facility is a new state-of-the-art research center situated on the Louisiana State University campus and serves both academic users and practitioners at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Please visit the pooled fund website at http://www.libraryconnectivity.com to read site visit profile reports for all of our libraries. There will be more site visits this year including California DOT, Missouri DOT, and Idaho DOT.

One of the benefits of pooled fund membership is support for travel to meetings and conferences. We are pleased to be sending several pooled fund librarians to SLA this year and look forward to seeing you all in Seattle in June!

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CBS talks to the Iowa DOT Library
by Hank Zaletel, Iowa DOT Library

The winter has been especially onerous here in Iowa this year. The roads, especially the gravel roads in southern Iowa, were hard hit. Complaints were numerous about their bad condition. The local CBS affiliate in Des Moines called our Public Affairs Office to talk about muddy roads from the past (if you think it is bad now, this is what it was like a hundred years ago). The library and I were called on to respond.

The following clip was the result: http://www.kcci.com/video/15593254/index.html

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2008 Innovative Researcher Achievement Award Goes to Library Development Project
by Danielle Pollock, MoDOT Transportation Librarian

The Missouri Department of Transportation Library was presented with the department’s first Innovative Researcher Achievement Award March 18 at the MoDOT Spring Research Forum on the St Louis University Campus. Transportation Librarian Danielle Pollock and Dr. Tom Kochtanek of the University of Missouri accepted the 2008 award for exceptional, innovative, and quality transportation research.

The library was recognized for its provision of rapid information acquisition to support policy and operations decision making in the department. By providing needed information faster, better and cheaper, transportation library services are estimated to save the department approximately $200,000-250,000 per year.

accepting award for development project
Pictured (L-to-R): Dr. Tom Kochtanek, University of Missouri, Kevin Keith, MoDOT Chief Engineer, Danielle Pollock, MoDOT Transportation Librarian.

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Accessing Documents Related to the Collapsed I-35W Bridge
by Sheila Hatchell, Director, MN DOT Library

I-35W Bridge Research Area

At the end of my first week of work as the Mn/DOT Library Director, our data practices attorney approached me about partnering with her office to provide access to documents related to the I-35W bridge (known most precisely as Bridge 9340), that collapsed into the Mississippi River in Minneapolis on August 1, 2007. I knew when I accepted the position that somewhere down the line the library might possibly play a role in assisting the department in dealing with this disaster. I just didn’t think it would happen this soon!

Mn/DOT wanted to provide full access to the bridge documents and is doing so by scanning all related documents and making them available through a dedicated Web site: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/i35wbridgedata/. We also wanted to provide access for anyone who may not have Internet access, or who might simply choose to come to Mn/DOT. The library seemed a logical place to do this.

Fortunately for me, Barbara Forsland, Mn/DOT’s data practices attorney, is a genuinely kind person who spoke to me in terms I could understand and never complained about me asking the same question again. Between December and now we have had numerous meetings, first of all to decide if this was a role the library was willing to fulfill (we decided yes), and then to determine how to make it happen. We were able to reacquire some space that had been previously converted into offices, and have outfitted the space with two dedicated workstations and additional workspace. The workstations provide for downloading documents to a CD or flash drive. We decided to make printing of documents available through the Data Practices Office rather than the library due to the fact that many of the documents are lengthy, require various sizes of paper, and may require color printing.

The library staff have been busy developing and documenting policies for use of the workstations, creating signage and policy placards, and getting trained on the various systems that will deliver the documents. We have also created documentation on downloading to a CD or flash drive for users of the workstations. Our official launch date is April 18. The fact that the library is providing this service for Mn/DOT has resulted in an unexpected benefit to the library - positive recognition for us throughout the department. I am grateful to the library staff who contributed to this project in addition to their usual work duties - Jim Byerly, Qin Tang, Pam Gonzalez, Olive Nerem, and also to former library staffer Barb Hogan.

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Songs about Highways
Submitted by Martha Soneira, Executive Editor, Public Roads, FHWA

"Open Road"

"Walk Our Own Road"

"Take the Wheel"

These are just a few examples of “road songs,” the subject of the blog “Urban Palimpsest” on March 28. It includes an interview with the FHWA’s Richard Weingroff: http://urbanpalimpsest.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

Mr Weingroff’s “Road Songs” web site can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/roadsong.htm.

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Membership News

New Member Profile
by Jennifer Boteler and Lance Warren, Federal Highway Administration Research Library

Lance Warren is the newest staff addition to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Research Library located at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) in McLean, VA.

An employee of Macrosys Research & Technology, Lance’s new position is as the Research Librarian for the new FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program.

The EAR program was established in order to pursue longer-term, higher risk breakthrough research with the potential for dramatic improvements in the design, construction, rehabilitation, and operation of safe, congestion-free, and environmentally sound transportation systems.

The EAR program will be leveraging transformational research and disruptive technologies (i.e. groundbreaking discoveries) in order to make fundamental changes in the current highway transportation systems and policies. Lance’s role will include scanning and scouting of other industries and research organizations; interviewing, analyzing and assessing information requirements of scientists and researchers; providing research, reference, and instructional services in the methods and usage of online tools and services; and collaborating with and serving as liaison with other governmental information centers.

Lance and his family relocated from Leawood, Kansas outside Kansas City, Missouri and are now living in Leesburg, Virginia. Prior to joining Macrosys, Lance was employed for 15 years by Cerner Corporation, a clinical healthcare company, serving as their Corporate Research Librarian for 13 years. Lance holds a Master’s degree in Library Science and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Management and Biblical Studies.

Lance’s hobbies include old classic films, studying American history and American literature as well as Christian theology and apologetics, science, government and conducting research.

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