New Brief Examines the Costs of State Longitudinal Data Systems
August 24 advisory from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign / National Skills Coalition:
States need not be deterred from building a state longitudinal data system (SLDS). According to a new paper, "Costs of State Longitudinal Data Systems," by the Workforce Data Quality Campaign, the costs of building and maintaining SLDS can vary dramatically and can be adjusted to fit a state's needs.
SLDS are used to match data about individuals from different sources over time. They are an important resource for state policymakers, researchers, and the public. These systems can be used to provide information about how a state's education and workforce system is preforming, or to help students select the best program for them.
Although most states now have an SLDS, a few remaining states may be dissuaded from building an SLDS because of implementation and maintenance costs. However, according to the paper, these costs can vary based upon a number of factors and need not be excessive. Some states have built new SLDS for as little as $2.5 million dollars. Factors influencing costs can include the capabilities of the system, the number of state agencies contributing data to the system, who builds the system, and when the system was built (many technology costs decrease over time). Factors that can influence maintenance costs include the amount and quality of data analysis conducted, the number of data requests received and filled, and the level of technological sophistication.
This paper provides case studies of five states. Each case study details that state's SLDS implementation and maintenance costs and what factors influenced that cost.
On August 24, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced 45 grants totaling $8,155,005 to support libraries across the country. The awards were made through the FY 2018 second cycle of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The awarded grant search on the IMLS website contains a complete list of grantees and project descriptions.
National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that address significant challenges and opportunities facing the library and archives fields and have the potential to advance theory and practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that will be widely used. During this second cycle, the National Leadership Grants for Libraries program received 113 preliminary proposals requesting $31,832,527. Forty-six projects requesting $8,101,212 were invited to submit full proposals, and of these, 31 projects were awarded $4,947,294, including:
- The Colorado State Library and Colorado Library Consortium, with partners RSL Research Group and Colorado Department of Corrections, will plan a statewide assessment of prison libraries. The planning project will determine how best to assess prison library contributions to offenders' development of pro-social behaviors during incarceration and maximize their chances of successful reâ€�entry into the community.
- The Trustees of Indiana University's Shared BigData-Gateway for Research Libraries will develop, seed, and maintain a cloud-based, extensible cyberinfrastructure for sharing large academic library data resources with a growing community of scholars. The team will create a sustainable and shared resource for current and future big data mining and analysis.
- San Jose State University, the Tribal Libraries Program of the New Mexico State Library, the New Mexico State Department of Information Technology, the Gigabit Libraries Network, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, will collaborate with tribal libraries across New Mexico to explore dramatically improving tribal internet connectivity, equity, and inclusion through the design and implementation of several TV Whitespace networks statewide.
The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better serve the changing learning and information needs of the American public by enhancing the training and professional development of librarians, developing faculty and library leaders, and recruiting and educating the next generation of librarians. The program received 73 preliminary proposals requesting $20,447,280, and 23 of these were invited to submit full proposals, resulting in a total request of $5,695,653 during phase 2. IMLS is awarding $3,207,711 to 14 projects, including:
- The University of Texas at Austin will investigate how small, rural libraries contribute to community viability. Investigators will focus on the factors important to library resiliency during natural disasters and crises through a partnership with Florida State University.
- The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will provide librarians across the state with the training, partnerships, and tools needed to enhance their knowledge of systems that support patrons who are using the library for workforce development related purposes.
- The Democratic Knowledge Project at Harvard University, in partnership with the Massachusetts Library System, will pilot a professional development initiative focused on civics education for youth-serving librarians. A cohort of 8-10 public librarians and school library media specialists from across the state will develop a series of professional development resources and learning modules to expand young people's capacity for civic action and media-making in the digital age.