UNC, Virginia Tech create digital library curriculum

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year grant of over half a million dollars to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech to develop a digital library curriculum.

The project is entitled "Collaborative Research: Curriculum Development: Digital Libraries." The effort at UNC's School of Information and Library Science will be led by Barbara Wildemuth, principal investigator, and Francis Carroll McColl, term professor, and Jeffrey P. Pomerantz, co-principal investigator and assistant professor. Virginia Tech's effort will be led by Edward A. Fox, principal investigator and professor of computer science.

"The research will focus on developing and field-testing individual lessons/modules that can be incorporated within courses or used to support an entire course," said Wildemuth. "With the assistance of our advisory board, students in doctoral consortia and other experts, we will design, implement and field-test the modules.

Programs in computer science and information and library science – at any institution with interest in digital libraries – may draw on the project deliverables to enhance existing courses, add digital library (or related) courses or deploy digital library curricula, said Fox.

"Digital library users will thus benefit from the improved understanding of those who build the next generation of digital library systems," he said.

The award was effective Jan. 1 and expires Dec. 31, 2008. UNC was awarded $83,558 for the first year, with expected awards of $89,867 and $88,982 for 2007 and 2008, respectively. Virginia Tech was awarded $88,431 for the first year, with expected awards of $90,038 and $93,718 for 2007 and 2008, respectively. Those amounts total nearly $534,600.

For more information about the Virginia Tech Digital Library Research Lab, visit http://fox.cs.vt.edu/DLcurric/. For more information about the UNC School of Information and Library Science, visit: http://sils.unc.edu/

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