During its first three years of operation (2006 and 2008), the Transportation Library Connectivity Pooled Fund Study was instrumental in improving access to transportation information and building awareness of the importance of library services and Transportation Knowledge Networks.
Through the work of the pooled fund members, both individually and collectively, and the work of the pooled fund consultants, there has been much progress:
- Increased cooperation among member libraries in the collection, cataloguing and sharing of transportation resources.
- Widening participation by state DOT libraries in the Online Computer Library Center and the Transportation Libraries Catalog.
- A growing awareness among state DOT managers of the value of transportation libraries and information services to safety, planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance functions as well as to research.
- Successful formation and development of additional regional Transportation Knowledge Networks which now cover the entire US.
- Increased awareness of and participation in the activities of the National Transportation Library, regional TKNs and NCHRP project 20-75 on implementing TKNs.
- Creation of the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee TKN Task Force which will provide a forum for ongoing dialogue between the transportation library/information community and state DOT research managers.
- Creation of the Transportation Librarian’s Toolkit, a vital education and training tool that will be of immediate value to transportation librarians and other information professionals and managers.
- Sponsorship of the National TKN Resource Sharing Project, the first national TKN project forming a National Resource Sharing Network of nearly 50 transportation libraries and information centers.
- Sponsorship of Webinars and workshops from Outsell, Inc.
These accomplishments and many others are captured in the Year Three Report-Fiscal Year 2008, of the Transportation Library Connectivity Pooled Fund Study. While pooled fund members have many of the same needs as they did two years ago, the landscape has changed somewhat, calling for fine-tuning of study objectives. In view of pooled fund accomplishments and a changing landscape of library and information services for transportation, we will turn our attention to new challenges while continuing to build on what has been done.
TAC members worked closely with the pooled fund consultants to arrive at the following objectives for 2008. They are aimed at helping members raise the level of service they provide to their DOT customers and at communicating to top management the value of information services and the highly trained professionals who provide them.
- Technical guidance and support to members, focused on the smaller libraries and solo librarians. Support activities will include such things as site visits, advice on cataloging, interlibrary loan procedures, integrated library systems and library Web presence (Internet and Intranet).
- Quarterly topic oriented teleconferences of pooled fund members to enable sharing of best practices and new ideas.
- Promotion of the value and importance of transportation library and information services to top-level transportation administrators throughout the country through targeted activities, such as:
- Feature articles that vividly tell the stories of library and information professionals helping agencies save time, money and lives. (See TRNews March/April, No. 261)
- Presentations to gatherings of top-level DOT administrators, such as meetings of AASHTO committees (Highways, Planning, Environment, Highway Traffic Safety).
- Poster session for the TRB 2009 Annual Meeting that features top-level transportation administrators pointing to the value of their libraries in critical endeavors at the heart of their agencies' missions.
- Second edition of the Transportation Librarian's Toolkit and a workshop emphasizing how it can be used with top-level administrators to demonstrate the range and value of library and information services.
- Annual meeting to conduct pooled fund business and prepare for FFY2010.
- Continued enhancement of the project Web site as a one-stop shop for pooled fund resources and business, including the tracking and reporting of relevant state, regional and national efforts.
- Support of members in their efforts to strengthen regional Transportation Knowledge Networks.
- Collaboration with the National Transportation Library, the new AASHTO RAC Task Group on TKNs, TRB LIST and others, including retired transportation librarians, to enhance communication between transportation librarians and the transportation research community and to build broader support for and funding of a national network of transportation libraries among top-level transportation administrators at the state and federal level.
- Facilitation of payment of OCLC and TLCat subscriptions for eligible pooled fund members.
- Implementation of focused research and technology projects, as proposed by members, on specific topics, such as: increased sharing of resources through the TKN Resource Sharing Pilot Project, Expansion of the California LTAP G3 program to other states, Preservation and transfer of historic ASTM standards 1935-1999, and others.
Interim Report November 2007