Grant Will Help Library ‘Digitize’ Public Works

Posted January 31, 2007 at 4:07pm

The Library of Congress can move forward with plans to “digitize” many of its public domain works, thanks to a $12 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The project, formerly titled “Digitizing American Imprints at the Library of Congress,” will feature a variety of techniques for preserving many of the collection’s brittle and “at risk” books. Among these technologies is the capacity for the scanning of volumes, development of a suitable page-turner display and a pilot program to capture high-level metadata, such as a table of contents and index.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, responsible for the recent grant proposal, works with funding various areas of science and technology. The recent collaboration with the LOC is an attempt by the organization to increase access to recorded works by encouraging digitization of material in the public domain.

The LOC’s proposal includes the digitization of thousands of works in categories including a collection of rare books from the Benjamin Franklin Collection, U.S. genealogy and regimental histories, and selections from the Jean Hersholt Collection of Hans Christian Andersen.

Scanning is expected to begin within a few months after an initial startup period to establish logistics, staffing and resources.

Funding for Metro Station Improvement Granted

Washington, D.C., Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s (D) push for $20 million to upgrade the Navy Yard Metro Station was granted this week through a joint continuing resolution for fiscal 2007.

The funding will allow for improvements to the station’s entrance and additional fare gates, fare vending machines, and elevators and staircases, according to Steven Taubenkibel, spokesman for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

The station is expected to receive higher foot traffic with the construction of the nearby Washington Nationals baseball stadium.

“Currently, the west entrance accommodates 5,000 people per hour,” Taubenkibel said. “The improvements would accommodate 15,000 people per hour for baseball games.”

Federal workers also will be using the Navy Yard Metro Station. The new headquarters for the Department of Transportation, to be located in the area, will bring in 7,000 employees. Thousands of federal workers also are being added to the Naval Sea Systems Command at the Navy Yard.

“It’s critical to make sure [the station] has enough capacity to handle all the federal workers and baseball fans,” said Norton spokeswoman Doxie McCoy.

The resolution also grants $9 million in additional funds for treatment to prevent recidivism among former drug offenders. The continuing resolution for 2007 includes final approval for funding for D.C. courts, prisons, offender re-entry and public defender services.

D.C. United Starts All-Year Youth Program
With soccer season just around the corner, D.C. United currently is holding tryouts for its boys’ and girls’ youth team programs.

About 200 youths participated in the first rounds that took place Jan. 27-28 for a chance to be part of the boys’ U-14 and U-16 and girls’ U-14 and U-15 teams. Each team usually has 18 to 26 players in its roster. Players who participate in the program for two years become eligible to be signed through professional contracts.

According to John Maessner, youth development director for D.C. United, no other program in the area offers a real professional experience for soccer players.

“Major League Soccer and D.C. United are putting a lot more energy into the system,” Maessner said. “Our goal is to find the best players in the area and get them into our club.”

This year, D.C. United is starting a year-round program for the boys’ U-14 and U-16 teams. The girls’ U-14 and U-15 teams will compete during the summer in the Super Y-League.

Second rounds of tryouts will take place Feb. 10-11 for the boys and Feb. 4 for the girls at the D.C. United Training Complex adjacent to the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. Maessner said coaches continually look for talent year-round.

— Andrea Kemp and Marnette Federis