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UCSD Librarian and SDSC Collaborator Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

Published 03/08/2007

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Warren Froelich

Brian E. C. Schottlaender, University Librarian at UC San Diego and a key partner of the San Diego Supercomputer Center on a variety of projects involving the management, stewardship and preservation of digital data, has been awarded the inaugural 2007 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS).

The award recognizes Schottlaender's contributions to the profession and to ALCTS, a division of the American Library Association, where he has served in several leadership roles, including president of ALCTS.

"Brian's vision for the Library community and the UCSD Libraries has propelled the national community forward, as recognized by this highly prestigious award," said Fran Berman, director of SDSC. "He has crafted an unprecedented relationship between the UCSD Libraries and the San Diego Supercomputer Center, enabling our partnership to provide national leadership in the area of digital management, stewardship, and preservation."

During the past few years, under Schottlaender's and Berman's leadership, SDSC and the UCSD Libraries have teamed up on several key initiatives that mesh with the missions of both organizations to collect, store, manage, access and preserve the nation's vital digital data assets. Such information is at risk of being lost in a digital void, posing a potential threat to future generations of research, education and societal applicatons

Recently, SDSC and the UCSD Libraries have worked with national partners University of Maryland and the National Center for Atmospheric Sciences, to create Chronopolis™, a national-scale digital preservation repository model. The Chronopolis™ project seeks to provide a 100-year digital preservation environment for nationally recognized holdings of U.S. academic, research and cultural heritage digital data collections. When fully implemented, Chronopolis™ will provide services needed to identify, preserve and make accessible scientific data sets over long time periods.

In addition to Chronopolis™, Schottlaender and the UC Libraries staff have worked in close partnership with SDSC on projects involving the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Library of Congress, the National Science Foundation, and the UC System. In 2004, NARA provided a grant to UCSD Libraries, SDSC and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to integrate two different data-preservation architectures, with the goal of developing a prototype Persistent Archive to manage all kinds of digital content - including text, images, music, and video.

The following year, SDSC, the UCSD Libraries and UCSD-TV collaborated on a proposal to integrate essential preservation processes into the production workflow of an ongoing television series, "Conversations with History." The goal of the project - funded by the Library of Congress and the National Science Foundation - is to safely preserve video interviews with some of the most important leaders of our age for the long-term, without disrupting the fast-paced television production cycle.

"Brian's vision for the close coupling of the library and information technology communities has made the SDSC-UCSD Libraries partnership an ideal relationship, and enabled both our institutions to address some of the greatest information technology challenges facing the 21st Century," said Berman. "This award recognizes his outstanding work thus far, but it is clear that the best is yet to come."

Before joining UCSD in 1999, Schottlaender held several positions at UCLA, beginning in 1984. Over the more than two decades he has held posts at UCLA and UCSD, he has established himself and the University of California as leaders in cooperative collections projects. As a writer and thinker, Schottlaender's publications range from the management and administration of libraries, to library collections and cataloging theory.

The Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award honors the memory of Ross Atkinson, a distinguished library leader, author, and scholar whose extraordinary service to ALCTS and the library community at-large serves as a model for those in the field.