Research news and notes from the National Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education
Digital Library (NSDL) Program [Back Issues]

The Whiteboard Report
February 2005, Issue #68



Community Tab Redeveloped at
Community Tab Redeveloped at February 2005-- Last fall, the NSDL Core Integration (CI) portals team started a process to revise the Community Tab on Research began with a focus group of community members explaining what they needed to engage in collaborative NSDL work. The resulting mockup was presented at the Annual Meeting during a Crit Lab. With all the feedback in hand and a few more rounds of testing, the team has completed the first of three phases of work. This release reorganizes existing material, and includes a blog-like highlights section containing information about current community events. Anyone in the NSDL community can submit events for posting - just click the "Submit a Community Highlight" menu item. Future releases will include moving documents into a Fedora-based content management system, allowing for document searches, easier overall management, and new community workspace options beyond using wikis. Thanks to Judy Ridgway, Wynne Brown, Dennis Pearl, Dave Joiner, and Bruce Mason for participating in the focus group, and also to all who provided input during the Crit Lab at the NSDL Annual Meeting last November. Comments about the improved site ( are welcome at
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NSF Launches New Web Site
NSF Launches New Web Site February 2005-- As part of improvements to the National Science Foundation's new web site NSDL is providing NSDL "Classroom Resources" content featured at NSDL will be adding regular updates to Classroom Resources of interest to teachers, students and families who visit the new site.
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Battle for Mindshare
February 2005-- The program for the 2005 National Federation of Science Abstracting and Indexing Services (NFAIS) Annual Conference, Whose Mind is it Anyway? Identifying and Meeting Diverse user Needs in the Ongoing Battle for Mindshare, is now available at: The Conference will be held February 27-Marhc 1, 2005 in Philadelphia.
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NSDL "Ask An Expert" Reference Desk Service at BOOM and NASA's ESTEME Week
NSDL "Ask An Expert" Reference Desk Service at BOOM and NASA February 2005-- The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) and the Virtual Reference Desk at Syracuse University are enhancing the AskNSDL ( service by growing the base of experts who volunteer to answer user questions for BOOM 2005 to be held on March 9 ( on the Cornell University Campus and ESTEME Week. BOOM is co-sponsored by Bloomberg and Credit Suisse/First Boston to showcase Computing and Information Science student creativity in digital technology and applications.

Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Education (ESTME) Week will be held April 11-16 ( The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are partnering with other U.S. Government agencies and scientific societies to sponsor activities for 2005's "Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (ESTEME) Week." The activities during ESTEME Week are an opportunity for the nation's schools to focus on improving math and science education.

BOOM visitors may have specific questions about exhibit topics such as robotics, artificial intelligence, mechanical engineering, computer science, information science, and computer games. Experts can also sign up to answer questions related to other general areas of science, mathematics, technology, and/or; educational resources and practices in these disciplines. Scientists, graduate students, junior and senior undergraduates, librarians, educators, and others are encouraged to share their knowledge with students and teachers who will be sending their inquiries during BOOM, ESTEME Week, and beyond. It is easy to register as an expert and requires only as much time as you prefer to commit in responding to the questions that you choose to answer.

To register go to and click on the "for experts" link. Select "register as an expert" and follow the instructions. To facilitate your approval as an expert, please mention your affiliation in the "Credentials/Bio" field.

Contact Blythe Bennett (315-443-5445 / for more information.
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School Library Programs Linked to Student Performance
February 2005-- Marcia Mardis, former chair of the Community Services Standing Committee and PI on three current NSDL projects, has completed her EdD dissertation on the relationship between school library programs and student performance in science. Marcia comments that, "Even with community variables like socioeconomic status taken into account, access to computers, the Internet, and video collections, when mediated by qualified library media specialists, resulted in improved student performance in science."

Marcia will present the results of this study at the Centre for Studies in Teacher Librarianship in Australia ( in April, and at the International Association of School Librarians conference ( in Hong Kong this July.
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2005 MERLOT International Conference - "Engaging the Global Community - Looking Over the Horizon"
2005 MERLOT International Conference - "Engaging the Global Community - Looking Over the Horizon"
Hosted by the Tennessee Board of Regents, the MERLOT International Conference will be held at the at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel and Nashville Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, July 25 - 28, 2005. The Conference provides forums for learning about shared content, peer reviews, learning objects, standards, and online communities. We welcome participation by the entire international higher education community.

The deadline for proposals is March 14, 2005. Information on submitting a proposal:
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Institute for Media Literacy at USC Annenberg Center for Communication to Launch Vectors
Institute for Media Literacy at USC Annenberg Center for Communication to Launch Vectors
Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular explores emerging forms of scholarship, research and communication in multimedia. Vectors is committed to engaging cross-disciplinary debates surrounding the changing role of the visual and the aural in scholarship, media and daily life. Vectors is founded on the belief that the academy must actively confront and participate in contemporary media culture, investigating new modes of expression and meaning-making and staging new points of contact between the arts, humanities and sciences. While adhering to high standards of quality in a reviewed format, Vectors also aims to engage readers across traditional disciplinary boundaries and beyond the borders of the university.

To promote interdisciplinary work broadly the Vectors editorial board features members from over 20 universities, colleges and institutes around the globe including Stanford and NYU. Vectors features commissioned multimedia works produced through collaboration between scholars and artists. This collaborative process aims to develop new forms that draw from contemporary media practices and technologies, from blogs to mobile devices, while also underwriting innovative partnerships between diverse cultural institutions. "Published" bi-annually,
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Where are Libraries in Google's Universal Library?
Where are Libraries in Google
Barbara Quint, Editor, Searcher Magazine, in the February 16 issue speculates on how libraries will find a place in new Google Universal Virtual Library world. Is it possible as Quint suggests that, "The weight of the future may collapse the structures of the past?"
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Passionate Librarian
Passionate Librarian
Daniel Willard Fiske (1831-1904) excelled in many fields, from linguistics and librarianship to chess and journalism. A versatile scholar, he helped to shape Cornell University's cultural identity through his positions as Cornell's first University Librarian and as Professor of Northern European Languages. Fiske used his widow's considerable inheritance to build a series of outstanding book collections. The Icelandic, Dante, Petrarch, and Rhaeto-Romanic collections that he assembled are among the finest in the world. Fiske also became a beloved supporter of Iceland and its people.

"The Passionate Collector: Willard Fiske and his Libraries" celebrates Fiske's generosity and intellectual achievements through the display of medieval manuscripts, rare fifteenth-century printed books, his original correspondence, and nineteenth-century photographs from the collections he established. Visit the exhibition online begining February 17, 2005.
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Published from 2000 to September 2009, NSDL Whiteboard Report Archives provide access to prior issues of the bi-weekly newsletter published by NSDL. To subscribe to current news and information about NSDL, go to the NSDL Community Network site, register as a user, subscribe to and participate in selected features found there. For more information contact Eileen McIlvain