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GWLA & Partners Rally Against Inhofe Amendments

posted May 6, 2008, 9:41 AM by Joni Blake   [ updated May 6, 2008, 9:44 AM ]

GWLA and seven other organizations wrote to advocate for the abandonment of the Senator Inhofe amendments (#3416 and #3417) to the FY 2008 Senate Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (S.1710).

GWLA Receives IMLS Grant

posted May 6, 2008, 9:18 AM by Joni Blake   [ updated May 6, 2008, 9:22 AM ]

GWLA Contact:
Joni M. Blake, 926-8765 or

IMLS Contact:
Mamie Bittner, 202-606-8339 or

Kansas City, Missouri - The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), a consortium of 30 research libraries in the Midwest and Western United States, has been awarded a National Leadership Grant totaling $249,736 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to begin constructing a digital library of water resources information for the Western United States. The total amount for the project, including matching funds, is $452,826.

The new Western Waters Digital Library (WWDL) will create a much-needed, freely and widely accessible information resource from a geographically dispersed consortium of major universities. Water usage and conservation is a major policy issue in the Western U.S., as natural water scarcity in the region is combined with the highest current growth rate in the country. Currently, no federal or state agency or other organization of any kind provides a comprehensive information resource about water to researchers, policy makers, educators and citizens.

"The Western Waters Digital Library will be a new digital library resource that is freely available to researchers and the public alike," said Adrian W. Alexander, Executive Director of GWLA and Principal Investigator on the project. "Our initial focus will be on the Colorado, Columbia, Platte, and Rio Grande river basins, but other river systems and additional areas of study will be incorporated in WWDL as the project expands."

"IMLS' National Leadership Grants foster the best thinking in our fields about how museums and libraries can further enrich community, academic, family, and individual lives across the country," said Robert Martin, Director of the Institute. "The grants we make today will help develop leading-edge technologies to expand access to collections and educational programs, support original research to improve professional practices, and form powerful partnerships between libraries and museums and other community organizations. It is our hope that today's grants will provide models for libraries and museums throughout the nation to emulate tomorrow."

IMLS 2003 National Leadership Grants for Libraries Preservation/Digitization Program provided grants totaling over $3.5 million to 14 awardees. The grants in this category help to preserve library resources, to develop model projects and best practices for digitization, and to digitize collections of national value.

The project will utilize the Western States Dublin Core Metadata Element Set developed by the IMLS-funded Western Trails project, and will incorporate the standards and principles of the Open Archives Initiative. Digitized materials will be loaded on distributed servers running the CONTENTdm� digital collections management software, and the CONTENTdm Multi-Site Server, hosted at the University of Utah, will aggregate collections to a single point of search at the project website at Work on this two-year project will begin in November 2003.

The Greater Western Library Alliance ( is a non-profit consortium of thirty research libraries located in fifteen Midwest and Western states with its headquarters at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Missouri. The mission of GWLA is to deliver quality cost-effective services and resources required by clients of member institutions through joint action and collaboration.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services ( is a federal grant-making agency located in Washington, D.C that fosters leadership, innovation and a lifetime of learning by supporting museums and libraries.

GWLA Endorses Open Access Legislation

posted May 6, 2008, 9:17 AM by Joni Blake   [ updated May 6, 2008, 9:21 AM ]

Kansas City, Missouri - The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) today endorsed the "Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006," a bill introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT). The bill requires federal agencies that fund over $100 million in annual external research to make the electronic manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles stemming from their research publicly available via the Internet. Agencies affected by this legislation would include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"The Greater Western Library Alliance has long advocated broader public access to scientific research funded by federal tax dollars," said Adrian W. Alexander, Executive Director of the Alliance. "The legislation proposed by Senators Cornyn and Lieberman would facilitate access to this critical information greatly for scholars, students, and the general public alike." The Greater Western Library Alliance ( is a non-profit consortium of research libraries in the Midwest and Western U.S. that has been active in a variety of collaborative library and scholarly electronic publishing projects since 1998.

Under this legislation, researchers funded by one of the federal agencies earmarked in the bill would be required to submit to the agency an electronic copy of the final manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Manuscripts would be preserved in a stable digital repository maintained by that agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation. Free, online access to each taxpayer-funded manuscript would be available as soon as possible, and no later than six months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The purpose of this new public policy is to provide better access to federally-funded scientific literature that is now available only via costly journal subscriptions, institutional licenses, and per-article purchases. Other types of information, such as classified research, research that results in works that generate revenue or royalties for the author (such as books), or patentable discoveries (to the extent necessary to protect copyright or a patent) would not be covered by the legislation. Similarly, information used to produce the final manuscript, including lab notes, preliminary data analyses, author notes, etc., would not be covered.

The following agencies have extramural budgets in excess of $100 million and would therefore be required to make their non-classified research publicly accessible: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Science Foundation.

The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) represents 31 research libraries in 16 states in the Midwest and Western United States. Its program initiatives include an array of resource sharing, scholarly communication and continuing education projects. GWLA is a co-founder of BioOne, a non-profit, electronic publishing enterprise in the biological and environmental sciences. For more information on GWLA, go to

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